Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an interview with the Turkish newspaper HaberTurk that Russia and the United States have not fulfilled their obligations to withdraw Kurdish militia units from areas near the Turkish border.
According to Erdoğan, Moscow and Washington promised to achieve the withdrawal of Kurdish paramilitary groups from the security zone along the Turkish-Syrian border. "They said that there would be no terrorists in this territory, but they are still there," said Turkish President. According to him, Syrian residents are still asking Ankara for military assistance, and the Kurdish self-defense units continue to claim that they speak on behalf of all Kurds.
In the same interview, the Turkish President also accused the Syrian Kurds of being closely linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party that has been designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara. The organization is operating in Southeast Turkey.
Erdoğan also said that the Syrian Kurds are cooperating with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, selling him oil produced in the province of Deir ez-Zor.
In early September, Turkey launched the Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish paramilitary groups in Northern Syria. Within a few days, the Turkish army and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels managed to occupy several settlements in the Raqqa and Al-Hasakah Governorates. Further advance of the Turkish army was stopped after negotiations with the participation of the United States and Russia. Moscow agreed with Ankara on the creation of a security zone in the Kurdish territories, which are jointly patrolled by the Russian and Turkish military. At the same time, American soldiers left Raqqa and Al-Hasakah Governorates. They have concentrated on the protection of oil fields in the South-East of Syria.