August 24, 2016 / 8:11 PM / 3 years ago

PM says Turkish operation in Syria to go on until YPG moves east of Euphrates

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildrim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey July 19, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s U.S.-backed military incursion in Syria will continue until Syrian Kurdish YPG militia fighters return east of the Euphrates river, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday.

He said in an interview broadcast live on news channel HaberTurk that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government could not be ignored if a political solution to Syria’s multi-sided conflict was to be found.

President Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was targeting both Islamic State militants and the YPG, whose gains in northern Syria have alarmed Turkey. Ankara views the YPG as an extension of Kurdish militants fighting an insurgency on its own soil, putting it at odds with the United States, which sees the group as an ally in the fight against Islamic State.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; editing by Mark Heinrich

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