US Vice President Joe Biden says Washington had made clear that pro-Kurdish forces in Syria must not cross west of the Euphrates River.
US told pro-Kurdish forces in Syria not to cross Euphrates
STORIESUS told pro-Kurdish forces in Syria not to cross Euphrates: BidenAnkara (Turkey) – 24 August 2016 16:10 – AFP US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said Washington had made clear that pro-Kurdish forces in Syria must not cross west of the Euphrates River, a prospect alarming for Turkey.”We have made it absolutely clear… that they must go back across the river,” Biden said at a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.”They cannot, will not and under no circumstances (will) get American support if they do not keep that commitment. Period.” His comments come after Turkish troops on Wednesday launched an operation inside Syria to cleanse the key town of Jarabulus from Islamic State (IS) jihadists.Turkey fears that Syrian Kurds may have designs on Jarabulus after seizing the strategic Manbij area in northern Syria from IS.Turkey sees the Syrian Democratic Forces (PYD) and its armed wing YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has waged a bloody campaign against the Turkish state. Ankara has said any attempt by the YPG — the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units — to move west of the Euphrates would be crossing a red line. YPG fighters are already well installed in northeastern Syria.Speaking alongside the US vice president, Yildirim confirmed an agreement with Washington that “PYD elements will not move to the west of the Euphrates and will not be engaged in any activity there.””We have seen the determination of the US on this issue once again,” the Turkish premier said. “PYD/YPG elements can never exist west of Euphrates under any circumstances, we have confirmed once more (US) sensitivity on this issue.”ba-sjw-fo/hmw——————————————–Biden says US understands ‘intense feeling’ in Turkey over Gulen after coupAnkara (Turkey) – 24 August 2016 15:47 – AFP US Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he understood the “intense feeling” in Turkey over the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen whom Ankara accuses of masterminding the July 15 failed coup and wants to see extradited.Speaking at a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Biden said work was continuing by US legal experts to evaluate the evidence produced by Turkey “that need to be supplied to an American court” for an extradition.”I understand the intense feeling your government and the people of Turkey have about him (Gulen). We are cooperating with the Turkish authorities,” He added that the US has “no, no, no, no interest whatsoever in protecting anyone who has done harm to an ally. None. But we need to meet the legal standard requirement under our law.”He said it would be an impeachable offence for US President Barack Obama to order the extradition of a foreign national.”We have no reason other than to cooperate with you (Turkey)… It always takes time… It is never understood why the wheels of justice move deliberately and slowly. It is totally understandable why the people of Turkey are angry,” he said.Turkish officials have warned that if Pennsylvania-based Gulen is not extradited, relations will suffer further and anti-American sentiment will deepen in the country.A senior US official said Wednesday Turkey has submitted four extradition requests for Gulen but offered no evidence tying him to last month’s failed coup.Yildirim said if the process of extraditing Gulen is expedited, Turkish people’s disappointment would be dispelled “very quickly”. ba-sjw/fo/mt