Turkey wants to send one million war refugees back to northern Syria within six months to two years. This was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a meeting with Erdoğan in the White House with US President Donald Trump and five senators on Wednesday. He hopes to receive help from international donors.
One million of the Syrian refugees living in Turkey so far could be brought to cities like Rakka and Dair as-Saur, Erdoğan explained. Overall, his government hopes to relocate about two million of the 3.6 million Syrian war refugees living in Turkey to their homeland.
Erdoğan: Macron's criticism is "unacceptable"
He rejected criticism of the invasion of Turkey in northern Syria. France's head of state Emmanuel Macron had endorsed Nato's "brain death" last week, citing "aggressive" action by NATO member Turkey in Syria and a lack of US coordination with Europeans. Erdoğan rejected the criticism as "unacceptable". Trump seconded; the Turkish president was "very disappointed with the declaration of France," he said at a joint press conference.
Following the withdrawal of the US troops, the Turkish army, along with allied rebels, invaded northern Syria on October 9 to drive out the Kurdish YPG units and establish a "security zone" there. Several NATO members have criticized this as contrary to international law. The YPG is the ally of the US armed forces in the fight against the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS). Turkey regards the Kurdish militia as a terrorist organization. Critics accuse Trump of abandoning YPG by withdrawing US soldiers.
Furthermore, no talk of sanctions for arms purchase
A point of controversy between the US and Turkey is the purchase by Turkey of the Russian S-400 missile defense system. Turkey's purchase of military equipment from Russia has created "quite serious challenges," said the US president. "Hopefully we'll be able to solve the situation," Trump said. Talks had been conducted and would continue in the future. The foreign ministers and the National Security Advisers are tasked with finding a solution to the problem, the US president said. Erdoğan said the problem can only be overcome with dialogue.
With the purchase of the S-400 system, Turkey had caused an annoyance in the summer with its NATO partner USA. The US government fears that Russia will use the sensitive radar of the weapons system to obtain data on the capabilities of the US fighter jet F-35. The Turkish government was a partner in the construction of the fighter jet and wanted to buy numerous aircraft. After acquiring the Russian missile defense system, the US excluded Turkey from the F-35 program. But tough sanctions have not been achieved so far.