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Erdogan Issues ‘Final Warning’ to Kurds on Eve of Syria Summit

  • Putin, Merkel, Macron in Istanbul Saturday to discuss Syria
  • President sees Kurdish YPG as close to Turkish separatists
Vehicles of US-backed coalition forces drive in the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

Vehicles of US-backed coalition forces drive in the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

Photographer: Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a “final warning” for U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters to retreat from sensitive border areas of Syria as he prepared to host world leaders in the search for a negotiated end to the nation’s seven-year conflict.

The president has repeatedly accused the U.S. of delaying implementation of a June agreement for the full withdrawal of Kurdish YPG forces from the Syrian town of Manbij. Turkey considers the group a terrorist affiliate of separatists it’s battled at home for decades, and wants its fighters pushed back to the east of the Euphrates River.