Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Ankara is determined to destroy the US-backed Kurdish forces near the Turkish-Syrian border to create a safe zone east of Euphrates river regardless of the outcome of US- Turkey security negotiations.
“We are determined to shatter the terror corridor east of the Euphrates, no matter how the negotiations with the US to establish a safe zone along the Syrian borders concludes,” Mr Erdogan told members of his AK Party at a meeting on Friday.
"Those who engage in bullying by putting their trust in foreign forces will tomorrow find themselves in the grave," the president said, in an apparent reference to the YPG.
The head of the US military Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, visited Syria's Kurdish-held areas on Monday for the first time since he took his post in March and met the Kurdish commander of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, Gen Mazlum Abdi, in the border town of Kobane.
Turkey has backed rebel groups fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, who has managed to hold on to power with the help of Iran and Russia.