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Erdogan, Putin, Rouhani tout alliance, eye US for next move

The presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran emerged from a summit on Syria as a united front, though the image hardly indicates an alignment in their priorities.
Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia pose before their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. Tolga Bozoglu/Pool via Reuters - RC1BFF99A690
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed vows to drive out Syrian Kurdish militants across Turkey’s borders after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in Ankara today.

Speaking at a joint press conference, Erdogan said, “Turkey will not stop until all regions under PYD/PKK control, including Manbij, are secured. … We will never allow either Syria or our region to be attacked by a few terrorist groups.” The PYD is the acronym for the Democratic Union Party, the dominant Kurdish group in northern Syria whose armed wing, known as the People’s Protections Units (YPG), is the US-led coalition’s top ground force in the fight against the Islamic State. PKK is short for the Kurdistan Workers Party, the militia that is fighting for Kurdish self-rule inside Turkey and is closely allied with the PYD. Turkey says they are one and the same.

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