Turkey's newly-launched cross-border operation in northern Syria should be supported, provided that the country aims to facilitate the safe return of the nearly 4 million Syrian refugees it is hosting, Gergely Gulyas, the Hungarian prime minister's chief of staff, said Friday.
Gulyas said Hungary re-evaluated its veto of a European Union declaration accepted by all other member countries that condemned Turkey's military intervention in northern Syria and decided to support it.
He said his country refused to accept war as a way to resolve problems between countries.
However, if Turkey wants to return the Syrian refugees it is hosting to their countries, its initiative to launch an operation should be supported, he added.
The EU should have a dialogue with Turkey in order to avoid a fresh wave of migrants coming to Europe, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Thursday.
Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on October 9 at 4 p.m.
The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations, launched in August 2016 and January 2018, respectively, have liberated northwestern Syria from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.
During Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkish forces neutralized 3,060 Daesh terrorists.
While the country liberated northwestern territories from Daesh in its first two operations, it also prevented the YPG from establishing a de facto autonomous region in Syria connecting the northwestern Afrin canton to the Kobani and Jazeera cantons in the northeast, which Ankara describes a "terror corridor" posing a grave threat to its national security.
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