Turkey and its allies will clear the northern Syrian towns of Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobani, and Manbij from terrorists, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday.
"It looks like Turkey's operation won't have any problems in Syria's Ayn al-Arab as Russia also showed a positive approach," Erdoğan told reports ahead of his trip to Azerbaijan.
"As for Manbij, we are currently in the process of implementing our decision," he said, adding that a year-old Turkish-U.S. agreement regarding the flashpoint town has not been realized.
Erdoğan slammed Western media for spreading misinformation about Turkey's Operation Peace Spring and ignoring terrorist attacks on Turkish civilians living near the Syrian border. He said foreign media outlets are using the same tactic of misinformation, as always, on the counterterrorism operation.
The president again reiterated that Turkey is not at war with Kurds, but is fighting a terrorist group.
Erdoğan also called on Turkey's NATO members to choose between its ally and terrorists.
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 Oct. 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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