Leaders of Turkey, Russia & Iran meet to discuss solutions in Syria

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Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation pose before their meeting in Ankara, Turkey, April 4, 2018.

The presidents issued a joint statement on Syria. Since the political situation in Syria devolved into a civil war beginning in 2011, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed according to the UN. The U.S. leaving would open up a power vacuum in parts of Syria, and experts say that could embolden Russian Federation and Iran, which have both backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Government forces ignored the ceasefire, continuing its bombardment of the region.

"These are the three parties who have the highest level of influence over what is happening in Syria".

"Turkey will not stop until all regions under the control of the People's Protection Units (YPG), including Manbij, are secured", he said.

Erdogan said Turkish troops, which last month took control of the northwestern enclave of Afrin, would move eastward into Manbij and other areas controlled by the USA -backed Peoples' Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey considers to be terrorists. "We can, all together, make that zone safe", Erdogan said. The Turkish president also underscored his commitment to continuing fighting ISIS militants who once controlled large expanses of Syria and Iraq.

Erdogan said the Turkish and Russian militaries were discussing the possibility of establishing field hospitals in Syria's Tal Abyad town to take care of people injured in attacks in the Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb.

A third trilateral summit of Russian, Turkish and Iranian leaders is expected to be held in the coming months in Tehran. During a press conference with Erdogan and Putin, President Rouhani spoke of the United States, saying Washington had "failed to topple the Syrian government". The United States is awaiting a response from the Saudis, said the official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the conversations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Rouhani said he not believe the U.S. will withdraw forces from Syria.

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The Reuters news agency reports that Iranian President Rouhani said that US forces had "failed to topple the Syrian government". "They have told Arab countries to give them money to remain in Syria". He said his administration would be making a decision on the troop deployment soon "in coordination with others in the area".

The US President reiterated the non-payment of bills by some North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member countries.

"Nobody's been tougher on Russian Federation than I have", he said.

The president met with top aides Tuesday before telling reporters that he wanted to "get out" and "bring our troops back home". "I want to start rebuilding our nation".

Cevik said the three countries "have become peacemakers" in Syria, while the US, which failed to bring about peace to neighboring Iraq after invading it 15 years ago, will have to leave sooner or later.

The summit focused on preparing the basis of a new constitution in Syria, rather than rushing to push for an immediate resolution to all hostilities, said local experts. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has indicated this would not be a long-term mission, saying ISIS is "almost completely destroyed".

US President Donald Trump did not adhere to warnings from his advisers when he on his re-election, US media report. We are going to have a military stronger than we've ever had before, by far.

In a meeting Tuesday with national security officials, President Trump said the U.S. would not be paying for the reconstruction of Syria, instead he will look to wealthy Arab nations to lead stabilization efforts.

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