China Urges Turkey To 'Stop Military Action' In Syria


The United States of America is being "very tough" on Turkey and has imposed the strongest sanctions, President Donald Trump said, as a delegation headed by Vice President Mike Pence prepares to leave for Ankara on Wednesday to press the Turks to stop their military offensive in northern Syria.

With the Turkish assault in its eighth day, Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters were still battling heavily Wednesday over the border town of Ras al-Ayn.

"I was part of a phone call yesterday between President Erdogan and President Trump where President Trump received a commitment from the President of Turkey to stay away from the Kobani area to prevent further escalation in Syria", US Senator Lindsey Graham - one of the main supporters of the US president in the Senate - said on Twitter, Efe news reported.

Russian Federation said it was working to prevent a conflict between advancing Turkish and Syrian government forces on Wednesday, as Turkey's president defied growing pressure and sanctions from Western allies for a cease-fire in northern Syria.

Turkey has pressed on with its assault against Kurdish militias in northern Syria, while the Russia-backed Syrian army roared into one of the most hotly contested cities abandoned by USA forces in President Donald Trump's retreat.

Turkey's president says he won't halt its military offensive in northeast Syria, despite growing pressure and sanctions from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

He reiterated that Trump will pursue "punishing economic sanctions" until a resolution is reached. The American move effectively abandoned the Kurdish fighters who were allied with the USA and cleared the way for Turkey's invasion aimed at crushing them. "We can not keep track", Erdogan told Turkish journalists aboard a plane returning from Baku, in comments carried by the Hurriyet daily. It is unlikely they will intentionally release ISIS prisoners as the terrorist group still poses a threat to many Kurdish-held areas.

Russian Federation recognizes Turkey's legitimate interests to ensure its border security, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday. Tuesday, Britain suspended arms sales to Turkey, following similar moves by France and Germany. Canada made a similar move.

Ankara's assault against Kurdish forces launched last week has prompted a chorus of worldwide condemnation.

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The Syrian army deployed alongside Kurdish forces on the front line in northern Syria Wednesday but their newfound cooperation saw no let-up in the week-old Turkish invasion, a monitor said. Despite his rebuke of the left's response to Trump's decision to withdraw support from the Kurdish fighters and pull troops from Syria, Kilmeade was critical of Trump's policy as recently as Monday.

Turkey says it aims to defeat the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as terrorists for its links to separatists in Turkey, and to create a "safe zone" where millions of Syrian refugees can be resettled.

The trip "is something to be assessed" after the talks with the American delegation, he said, adding that the sanctions and criticisms in the USA constituted "great disrespect toward the Turkish Republic".

The offensive has killed dozens of civilians, mostly on the Kurdish side, and displaced at least 160,000 people. In addition to ISIS being rejuvenated, the incursion has interfered with American efforts to isolate Iranian forces in the region and stop them from bolstering Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, who has been sheltered by top Iranian commanders on the ground.

The measure underscores an overwhelming congressional consensus that Trump's decision has damaged USA interests in the region and helped adversaries, including the Islamic State, Russia and Iran.

The NATO Secretary-General said he is greatly alarmed about the consequences, both when it comes to combatting the so-called "Islamic State" and human suffering in the wider region.

"The number of Russians is very, very limited".

Asked about the report, an SDF official said he had not yet received information about such a Russian advance.