ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he discussed the situation in Syria and Iraq with U.S. President Barack in a call on Thursday, adding Obama asked how he could help when he was told about difficulties evacuating people from the city of Aleppo.
Erdogan, who was speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara with the president of Slovenia, said 1,150 civilians and wounded had been evacuated from Aleppo so far.
Erdogan said he had voiced concern to Obama about Iraq, where Turkey fears Iranian-backed groups could take over the town of Tal Afar and Kurdish militants the town of Sinjar.
“A short time ago we had a long phone call with Mr Obama. We didn’t only discuss the situation in Syria, but also in Iraq. We discussed the ongoing evacuation problem” Erdogan said.
“I reminded him the importance of our responsibility in case an unfavourable situation emerges in Tal Afar and Sinjar. Obama asked me how he could help, and I explained it to him.”
The recapture of Aleppo by Syrian government forces has dealt a humiliating blow to years of Turkish policy in Syria, and handing a major victory to main regional rival Iran.
He said Turkey was continuing to monitor the evacuation of civilians from Aleppo.
“As of now, 1,150 civilians and wounded have been evacuated from Aleppo and reached Idlib. We will continue to monitor the ceasefire and evacuation processes closely,” he said.
Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Alison Williams