Active diplomatic contacts between the US and Turkey, the US and Russia and Turkey and Russia are ongoing over the situation in northeastern Syria.
On October 15th, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone. The two leaders spoke of the Turkish advance in northern Syria and the necessity to avoid conflict between the Turkish forces and the Syrian Arab Army.
Putin said that the humanitarian situation is rapidly deteriorating along the Syrian-Turkish border and that terrorists must not be allowed to take advantage of the situation.
“The presidents of Russia and Turkey called for continuing the process of political settlement in Syria and expressed their resolve to promote the convocation of the UN-sponsored Constitutional Committee in Geneva in late October.”
Putin then invited Erdogan for a working visit to Russia “in the next few days,” which the Turkish leader accepted.
Russian Ambassador to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev told reporters in Abu Dhabi that the Turkish advance needed to be concluded soon and that it was “unacceptable.”
“We didn’t agree with the Turks any questions about their presence in Syria and we don’t approve of their actions,” Lavrentiev said.
He said Turkish troops had the right under an agreement struck between Damascus and Ankara in 1998, the Adana pact, to temporarily push up to a maximum of 10 km (6 miles) into Syria to conduct counter-terrorism operations.
“But it doesn’t give them (Turkish troops) the right to remain on Syrian territory permanently and we are opposed to Turkish troops staying on Syrian territory permanently,” he said.
Also, on October 15th, US President Donald Trump also had a phone conversation with Erdogan.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he had asked U.S. President Donald Trump to send a delegation to Turkey.
The delegation will be headed by US Vice President Mike Pence, and will comprise of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Ambassador James Jeffrey.
At President @realDonaldTrump’s direction, tomorrow I will lead a delegation with @SecPompeo, NSA Robert O'Brien & Amb. James Jeffrey to call on Turkey to stop the invasion, enact an immediate ceasefire & begin negotiations to restore peace and stability to the region. pic.twitter.com/UanvagFxk8
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 15, 2019
Pence is set to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a bilateral meeting, according to the VP’s office.
“The Administration is resolved to maintain security in the region, the safety of civilians, and the continued detention of ISIS fighters,” the office said.
During the same press conference, Erdogan said he had invited a US delegation to Turkey, he spoke of there being no chance at a ceasefire, since there would be no negotiations with terrorists.
“Trump said to declare ceasefire. We would never declare a ceasefire.
We are, based on the 20 mile proposal, busy cleansing the area that is 444 km long from Iraqi border to the west (side of Syria). Whom? From terrorist organisations. Until we do, ceasefire is not an option. We can never declare ceasefire, because we are establishing a safe zone.”
They announce sanctions. Our objective is clear: We have absolutely no concern about any sanctions. You know that there are creating some obstacle with regards to visa applications, including myself and three minister friends of mine (impacted by this), also some trade sanctions. Apparently they have no idea about the people (they are dealing with). I told all of these to Mr. Trump. On the other hand they are inviting us to the U.S. on November 13.”
Turkey’s operation in northeastern Syria is reportedly going well, as the Turkish Defense Ministry announced that 637 terrorists had been neutralised since the start of Turkey’s military operation in Syria on October 9th.
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) October 16, 2019
Furthermore, it was alleged that the US itself set the Ain Issa base on fire itself and fled the scene, and that Turkish forces didn’t specifically engage with any US troops.
The US has set on fire their military base in Kharab Ashk which is located west of Ayn Isa. Then they have withdrawn from the area.
ABD Ayn İsa batısındaki askeri üssünü ateşe verdikten sonra bölgeden ayrıldı. pic.twitter.com/54sHmLQBao
— . (@op_shield) October 16, 2019
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- US Used Warplanes, Attack Helicopters To Fight Off Turkish-backed Forces Near Ain Issa
- In Videos: Abandoned US Military Base And Russian Troops In Manbij
- First Photos Of Russian Troops In Manbij