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US has 'no clear strategy' in Syria: Turkish FM

Turkish FM does not know what the American policy is in Syria

The United States does not seem to have a “clear strategy” for Syria with different positions coming from various parts of the government, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

“Different positions, different statements are coming from institutions and departments here in the United States. State Department and Defense ministry, as well as the military on the ground, CENTCOM, and this and that. All different positions,” he said. “There is no clear strategy, this is the problem.”

Cavusoglu comments came at a NATO event hosted by the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington.

He said he did not know what the American policy is in Syria.

US President Donald Trump announced in December that the US would withdraw American troops from Syria, a move that surprised many of Washington’s allies.

READ: US expects to resolve spat with Turkey over purchase of Russian air defences 

The Pentagon then announced in February that a few hundred troops would remain after the US pullout in order to create a safe zone along the Turkey-Syria border.

But Cavusoglu stressed that there were areas in which the two countries have been working together, such as the coordinated withdrawal from Syria, the safe zone along the Turkish-Syria border and the implementation of the Manbij roadmap.

The Manbij deal between Turkey and the US focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region, which is located in the northern part of Syria’s Aleppo province.

“US has been one of our main partners in Syria as well,” the foreign minister said. “Even though we disagree on YPG issues.”

The US has supported the SDF in Syria — a group led by the PYD/YPG, the Syrian branch of PKK terror organization. For more than 30 years, the PKK, which is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the US and the EU, has waged a terror campaign against Turkey, that has led to deaths of 40,000 people.

More than 1,200 victims, including security personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK resorted to acts of terror in July 2015.

Turkey has repeatedly raised security concerns after the announced troop withdrawal, saying the pullout would give room to the PYD/YPG to expand operations.

READ: YPG terrorists target rescue vehicle in northern Syria 

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