Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Putin to establish Syrian corridor

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(AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a 30-kilometer (19-mile) security corridor on Turkey’s border with Syria in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Erdogan’s office said Sunday.

Referring to Kurdish militants that Ankara considers terrorists, Erdogan reiterated the “importance and urgency” of creating the corridor in northern Syria in accordance with a 2019 agreement between Turkey and Russia, the statement added.

The call came three weeks after Turkey launched air and artillery strikes in Syria and Iraq in response to a bomb attack in Istanbul on Nov. 13 that killed six people and wounded dozens. The Turkish government has blamed the bombing on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and its Syrian affiliate the People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

Both groups have denied involvement in the attack.

The PKK has waged a 38-year insurgency against Turkey that has led to the loss of tens of thousands of lives. It is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. The YPG, however, is not designated as a terror group by Washington or Brussels and has spearheaded the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.

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