Erdogan says U.S. troops started withdrawal from northeast Syria after Trump call

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of his ruling AK Party during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, October 5, 2019. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that U.S. troops had started to withdraw from parts of northeast Syria after his phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump, adding that talks between Turkish and U.S. officials on the matter would continue.

On Sunday, the White House said Turkey will soon move forward with its long-planned military operation to create what it calls a “safe zone” in northern Syria and U.S. forces will not support or be involved in it.

Speaking to reporters in Ankara before departing for a visit to Serbia, Erdogan also said he planned to visit Washington to meet with Trump in the first half of November. He said the two leaders would discuss plans for the “safe zone”, and added that he hoped to resolve a dispute over F-35 fighter jets during his visit.

(This story fixes typo in headline)

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay