Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has continued to be an awkward thorn in the side of NATO and among Western allies, most recently calling on US forces to "withdraw from east of the Euphrates River" in Syria.
He said this days ago upon returning from a controversial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi in Tehran, where high on the agenda was the Astana process the three powers previously brokered for joint security tasks in northern Syria.
"For once, America now should leave the east of Euphrates. This is the evaluation of the Astana process. They say that America should withdraw its troops from east of the Euphrates. This is also Türkiye's expectation," Erdogan had said in the remarks.