Turkey pressed its deadly offensive against Kurdish targets in Syria on Friday as it battled to seize key border towns on the third day of an operation that has forced 100,000 civilians to flee.
But he remained steadfast and defended a move that drew widespread bipartisan criticism that he has endangered stability in the Middle East and risked the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who helped the US bring down the Islamic State group in Syria.
Ankara and Washington agreed on Thursday to a five-day truce in northeastern Syria to allow the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia to withdraw from a "safe zone" that Turkey aims to establish. Erdogan has said the offensive will resume if the withdrawal is not complete within the five days.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday warned that Ankara would restart its operation against Kurdish forces in Syria on Tuesday evening if they did not withdraw from a “safe zone.”
The Turkish government removed three mayors from office on Monday over alleged links to Kurdish militants as Ankara deepened its crackdown on the opposition.