The White House’s written statement differs from the truth discussed between the Turkish and U.S. Presidents’ phone conversation on Wednesday, according to Anadolu Agency sources.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, the sources said President Donald Trump did not discuss any concerns ‘of escalating violence in Afrin’ during the phone call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Trump discussed restricting the operation in Afrin to a certain time limit and avoiding any close combat in Manbij, due to the existence of U.S. soldiers in the region, the sources added.
The Turkish side reiterated that PYD/YPG elements “must retreat to the east side of Euphrates River as it was promised before,” adding that in the case of a Daesh threat in Manbij, it can be protected by the Free Syrian Army backed by Turkish Armed Forces.
The sources also stressed that President Trump did not use the words “destructive and false rhetoric coming from Turkey.”
“In an answer to President Erdogan’s highlighting request from Washington to stop providing arms to the PYD/YPG terrorists in Syria within the scope of fighting against terrorism, President Trump said the United States are no longer providing PYD/YPG with weapons,” the sources added.
They also said that there was no discussion of the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey.
“President Trump requested the release of some currently jailed U.S. citizens and local personnel. In an answer to President Trump’s request, President Erdogan said Turkey as a state of law and judiciary will decide on the related issues after the indictments are completed.”
On Saturday, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along the Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.