Amid the crisis in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he rejects the calls for a ceasefire in the region.
‘’They say ‘declare a ceasefire.’ We could never declare a ceasefire,’’ said Erdogan.
He was talking with several journalists on Tuesday as he said that he is not concerned by the presence of Syrian government troops moving into Manbij, but does not want Syrian Kurdish fighters to remain.
After the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region about a week ago, Turkey launched an offensive to confront the Kurdish forces. At the time, Erdogan said that Turkey can not declare a ceasefire until the Kurdish forces are out of the region.
According to an official statement by the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Erdogan discussed the situation in northern Syria. Both leaders noted the need to prevent further conflicts between Turkey and Syria and also confirmed the territorial integrity of Syria.
According to the Associated Press News, the Syrian army has moved north under a deal with the Kurds, who have sought protection from the Turkish offensive that followed the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the area. The Russian military has moved in to act as a buffer between the Syrian and Turkish armies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning that the militants from the Islamic State that are kept in Kurdish custody must not be allowed to be free, and that Erdogan is invited to visit Russia in the nearest days, according to a statement from the Kremlin.
Russia’s defense minister and the U.S. Defense Secretary had a phone call in which they discussed the situation, but there are no details about the conversation.
According to the Russian defense ministry, Russian military police have deployed to patrol a zone between the Turkish forces and the Syrian army, and that they have close contact with the Turkish military.