Putin said Russia would maintain its partnership with Syrian Kurdish forces (YPG) to defeat ISIS and there is no need for Turkey to ‘worry.’ He reminded that President Erdogan had voiced his concern over Russia’s corporation with YPG when they met in Sochi and that he clarified Russia’s position to ease Erdogan’s concerns.
Asked on whether Russia could arm the Kurdish fighters he replied that unlike the US, Russia sees no need to supply weaponry to those groups as they have own sources.
He continued: “It is time to work out the technical details. Russia, Turkey, and Iran will work together in Ankara, keeping in communication with the Syrian side, to map out the safe zones and set up the monitoring process- who will control what and where.
Will Erdogan be able to persuade Trump?
Erdogan told the Turkish journalists that the Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar, Head of Intelligence Hakan Fidan and Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın visited the US to inform American authorities in advance on Turkish side’s views regarding US’s decision to arm the YPG. This issue will top the agenda during President Erdogan’s meeting with President Trump.
President Erdogan told the journalists, “Initial talks were held by the senior officials, now we will make the final decision. If we are strategic allies, we should act accordingly. If our alliance is overshadowed by this disagreement, we will look for ways to fend for ourselves. We will not let the alliance be suffocated by this approach against Turkey’s interests.”