Turkey has no designs on Syria's Aleppo: Erdogan

October 26, 2016 7:45 AM EDT

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, October 19, 2016. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS


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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's military operations in Syria aim to secure control of the towns of al-Bab and Manbij but are not intended to stretch to the city of Aleppo, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

"Let's make a joint fight against terrorist organizations. But Aleppo belongs to the people of Aleppo, we must explain this ... making calculations over Aleppo would not be right," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.

His comments came after forces allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned Turkey against any advance toward their positions to the north and east of Aleppo, saying any such move would be met "decisively and with force".

(Reporting by Daren Butler and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Nick Tattersall)



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