February 28, 2017 / 9:06 AM / 6 months ago

Manbij is Turkey's next step in Syria operation, Erdogan says

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during an opening ceremony in Aksaray, Turkey, February 10, 2017. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey-backed forces will move toward the northern Syrian town of Manbij after completing their operation in al-Bab as originally planned, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

In a news conference in Ankara before embarking on an official visit to Pakistan, Erdogan also said the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - which Turkey regards as a terrorist organization - should be moved out to the east of the Euphrates river.

Erdogan also ruled out any chance of cooperation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Syrian Kurdish militia.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan

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