Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was defiant in a call with President Trump on Tuesday, vowing that U.S. sanctions on the country would not force Turkey to declare a ceasefire in northern Syria, according to a Turkish broadcaster.
NTV reported that Erdoğan told reporters on a flight back from Baku, in Azerbaijan, that he told Trump that Turkey would “not negotiate with a terrorist organization,” referring to U.S.-backed Kurdish militant groups operating in northern Syria, according to Reuters.
Turkey’s military campaign in northern Syria targeting U.S.-backed Kurdish militia groups that the NATO member considers to be terrorist organizations has caused widespread condemnations from U.S. lawmakers and foreign leaders, though Erdoğan has shown no signs of backing down from the campaign.
Hundreds of members of the ISIS have reportedly escaped from detention facilities in the region as the two U.S. allies battle for control of towns in the area, a situation which military leaders have warned in recent days could lead to a major resurgence of the terrorist group.
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