The responsibility for ISIS fighters being held in northeastern Syria cannot fall to Turkey alone, a senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“In terms of the ISIS fighters … held in prisons, which are closer to our border, of course initially our priority is to provide security and stability in the areas we move into,” Erdogan’s senior adviser Gülnur Aybet said. “We will safeguard any areas that contain these prisons. However, we would like the management of the camps, in particular, something that has to be undertaken as a joint effort with the international community.”
We never said we would shoulder this burden all by ourselves,” Aybet added.
Her comments were a stark contrast to a statement released by the White House Wednesday, in which US President Donald Trump said that Turkey was “now responsible for ensuring all ISIS fighters being held captive remain in prison and that ISIS does not reconstitute in any way, shape, or form.”
“We expect Turkey to abide by all of its commitments, and we continue to monitor the situation closely,” Trump said.
Aybet suggested that, when Erdogan visits the White House next month, the two leaders will discuss further details about dealing with the ISIS fighters.