President Tayyip Erdoğan explained to French President Emmanuel Macron the aims of Turkey's operation in northeastern Syria in a phone call, the Turkish presidency said on Monday.
Erdoğan told Emmanuel Macron about the threat that PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria pose to both Turkey's security and Syria's territorial integrity.
Erdoğan said the operation would contribute to regional and global peace and stability, the presidency said.
Before the phone call, Macron had criticized the operation, claiming in particular it could help a revival of terrorist group Daesh.
Turkey has pushed back against the criticisms, saying it expects its NATO allies to stand with it in fighting terrorism. He also accused countries which refuse to repatriate their nationals who joined Daesh -- like France -- of hypocrisy in anti-terrorist efforts.
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 in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.
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