Turkey gives time to Russia, US before ground offensive to Syria - report
Turkey has given specific time to Russia and the US to rout out the Kurdish armed groups from Northern Israel ahead of a military incursion into the region, Al Jazeera reported.
An official Turkish source revealed to Al-Jazeera on Tuesday that a deadline and conditions were set by Ankara for Washington and Moscow to back down from the military operation it intends to carry out in northern Syria.
According to the Turkish source, Ankara has given a specific time limit for the US and Russian sides to oust the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from Manbij, Tal Rifaat and Kobane in northern Syria.
The source said that Ankara had informed the Russian and American sides that the deadline would not be extended, and that the alternative would be a military operation against the Kurdish forces.
According to the source, the American side suggested restructuring the Syrian Democratic Forces and granting a greater role to the Arab component in managing the three towns.
According to the source, Turkey stipulated ending the SDF's control over the oil facilities before considering the US proposals.
The Turkish source also said that the Russian side set conditions related to the war in Ukraine in exchange for field and political concessions in Syria. He said that Russia offered to remove the cover from the al-Shahba area in the countryside of Aleppo and Ain al-Arab to facilitate the entry of Turkish forces.
On November 20, Turkey launched Operation "Claw-Sword" against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG,) the main component of SDF in Northern Syria, after blaming the group for masterminding the bombing that took place on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul on November 13 that killed 6 and wouded over 80 people.
The Turkish forces launched air and artillery strikes on the positions of the Kurdish units in the countryside of Aleppo, Hasakah and Raqqa, and vowed to expand their strikes to include a ground operation, which was opposed by the United States and Russia.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told his Turkish counterpart that Washington "strongly opposes any new military operation in Syria."
Austin also said that the Turkish strikes "directly threatened the safety of American soldiers working with local partners in Syria to defeat ISIS."