P. 9

                                                                                         WORLD NEWS Thursday 5 april 2018

            Erdogan: Turkey to keep pushing

            Kurds out of Syria's north

            By SUZAN FRASER              controlled  by  the  (YPG),  about  the  need  to  stay  in
             Associated Press            starting  with  Manbij,"  Erdo-  Iraq  and  Syria  to  finish  off
            ANKARA,      Turkey    (AP)  gan said.                    the  militant  group,  which
            —  Turkish  President  Re-   He  stressed  that  Turkey's  once   controlled   large
            cep  Tayyip  Erdogan  said  fight against the YPG would  swaths  of  territory  in  both
            Wednesday that his military  not  distract  from  efforts  to  countries.
            "won't  stop"  trying  to  oust  eliminate  remnants  of  the  Asked about a possible U.S.
            Syrian  Kurdish  fighters  from  Islamic  State  group  from  pullout, Rouhani suggested
            northern  Syria,  as  he  met  the country.               Wednesday  that  the  U.S.
            with  the  leaders  of  Russia  Wednesday's summit came  threat to withdraw from Syr-
            and Iran for talks on trying  as the White House said its  ia was an excuse for solic-
            to resolve the conflict.     military mission to eradicate  iting money from countries
            The  three  countries,  which  IS in Syria was coming to a  that want U.S. forces to re-
            have  teamed  up  to  work  "rapid  end,"  though  it  of-  main there.
            for  a  Syria  settlement  de-  fered no timetable for with-  “One  day  they  say  they
            spite  their  differences,  re-  drawal of the roughly 2,000  want to pull out of Syria. ...
            affirmed their commitment  U.S. troops currently in Syria  Then  it  turns  out  that  they
            to  Syria's  territorial  integrity  as part of an American-led  are  craving  money,”  he
            and the continuation of lo-  coalition fighting the Islam-  said. “They have told Arab
            cal cease-fires. They called  ic militants since 2014. Presi-  countries  to  give  them
            on  the  international  com-  dent  Donald  Trump  had  money to remain in Syria.”
            munity to provide more aid  said a day earlier that the  It  was  unclear  what  Rou-
            for war-ravaged Syria.       U.S.'s  primary  mission  was  hani  was  referring  to.  But
            Erdogan, President Vladimir  to defeat IS and "we've al-  Trump in recent weeks has    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Iran's Presi-
                                                                                                   dent Hassan Rouhani shake hands before a meeting in Ankara,
            Putin  of  Russia  and  Iranian  most completed that task."  asked Saudi Arabia to con-  Turkey, Wednesday, April 4, 2018.
            President  Hassan  Rouhani  With  allies  anxious  about  tribute  $4  billion  for  recon-                                     Associated Press
            were  holding  their  second  a  hasty  U.S.  withdrawal,  struction in Syria as part of
            summit to discuss Syria's fu-  White  House  press  secre-  his efforts to get other coun-  and Russian militaries were  Army  of  Islam,  the  biggest
            ture since attending a simi-  tary  Sarah  Sanders  said  tries to help pay for stabiliz-  discussing  the  possibility  of  opposition group in eastern
            lar meeting in Sochi, Russia,  Wednesday  that  the  U.S.  ing the country, according  establishing  field  hospitals  Ghouta, to leave the area
            in  November.  Russia  and  would stay in war-torn Syria  to a U.S. official who spoke  in  Syria’s  Tal  Abyad  town  for   the   rebel-controlled
            Iran have provided crucial  to  finish  off  the  job  of  de-  on  condition  of  anonymity  to  care  for  people  injured  north.  The  rebels  were  still
            support to President Bashar  feating  the  Islamic  State  because he wasn’t autho-    in  the  Syrian  government  leaving  the  town  of  Dou-
            Assad's  forces,  while  Tur-  group and was committed  rized to discuss the conver-   offensive on the rebel-held  ma,  but  the  evacuation
            key has backed the rebels  to eliminating the militants’  sations publicly.            Damascus suburbs of east-    was  expected  to  wrap  up
            seeking to overthrow him.    “small” presence that “our  Rouhani  also  reiterated  ern Ghouta. “Be it the Turk-    in  the  coming  days,  said
            Speaking  at  a  joint  news  forces  have  not  already  that  there  can  be  no  mili-  ish armed forces, be it the  Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy of
            conference,  Erdogan  said  eradicated.”                  tary  solution  to  the  Syrian  Russian armed forces, (we)  the Russian General Staff.
            Turkish  troops,  which  last  But Sanders suggested that  crisis. “It should be resolved  want to quickly establish a  Earlier,  Russia’s  Defense
            month  took  control  of  the  would  not  be  a  long-term  through political solutions,”  field  hospital  so  that  initial  Ministry said that more than
            northwestern  Kurdish  en-   endeavor,  and  she  de-     he said.                     treatment  can  be  provid-  3,000 rebels and their family
            clave of Afrin, would move  scribed the extremist group  Russia, Iran and Turkey have  ed,” Erdogan said.           members  had  evacuated
            eastward  into  Manbij  and  that  once  controlled  vast  sponsored  several  rounds  Meanwhile, the Russian mil-  Douma since Sunday.
            other  areas  controlled  by  swaths  of  Syria  and  Iraq  of talks between the Syrian  itary  said  Wednesday  that  The  evacuation  comes  af-
            the U.S.-backed Kurdish mi-  as  “almost  completely  de-  government and the oppo-    it expects a rebel evacua-   ter  a  blistering  five-week
            litia, the Peoples' Protection  stroyed.”                 sition,  and  brokered  local  tion from the suburbs of the  government  offensive  in
            Units, or YPG, which Turkey  Trump’s comments conflict  truces in four areas, helping  Syrian  capital  to  be  com-  February  and  March  that
            considers to be terrorists.  with views of his top military  to  reduce  hostilities.  Their  pleted in the coming days.  killed  hundreds  of  people
            "I say here once again that  advisers,  some  of  whom  next  tripartite  meeting  will  The  Russian  Defense  Minis-  and  caused  catastrophic
            we  will  not  stop  until  we  spoke at a separate event  be held in Tehran.          try and Syrian rebels struck  damage  in  the  besieged
            have  made  safe  all  areas  in  Washington  on  Tuesday  Erdogan  said  the  Turkish  a  deal  on  Sunday  for  the  suburbs.q
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