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Wed Jan 9, 2019, 05:37 PM

Turkey's Erdogan Shuts Down White House's Bolton on Syria, Says He Made a 'Serious Mistake'

•Turkey's President Recep Erdogan issues a blunt put-down against White House national security advisor John Bolton over his pledges to ensure Turkish nonaggression against Kurds who fought against the Islamic State in Syria.

•"We cannot accept Bolton's messages given from Israel," the Turkish president says, adding that Bolton made a "serious mistake."

Natasha Turak | @NatashaTurak
Published 6:19 AM ET Tue, 8 Jan 2019 Updated 11:52 AM ET Tue, 8 Jan 2019
CNBC.com

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a blunt put-down Tuesday against White House national security advisor John Bolton over his pledges to ensure Turkish nonaggression against Kurds who fought against the Islamic State in Syria.

"We cannot accept Bolton's messages given from Israel," the Turkish president said, adding that Bolton made a "serious mistake," Reuters reported.

He was referring to statements by the senior Trump administration official, made from Israel over the weekend, promising safety for the U.S.-allied Kurdish militias — who dominate areas in Northern Syria and whom the Turks view as terrorists — in the event of a U.S. military withdrawal.

The militias, known as the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), are the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), an offshoot of the designated terrorist group called the Kurdistan Workers Party, which has carried out a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state. They're also America's primary partners on the ground in Syria: The Pentagon has been supplying the YPG with weaponry, air support and training to battle IS since 2015, and the militias have suffered thousands of casualties fighting for the U.S.-led coalition.

Erdogan stressed that the YPG and the PYD cannot be representative of Kurds, adding that Bolton "probably doesn't know" who the two groups are. He also described Turkey as facing a "critical juncture" in Syria, with whom it shares a 500-mile border.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/08/turkeys-erdogan-shuts-down-white-houses-bolton-on-syria.html

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