Turkish, Russian chiefs of staff discuss latest developments in Syria

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 14.10.2019 18:26
Updated 14.10.2019 23:03
Turkish, Russian chiefs of staff discuss latest developments in Syria

Turkey's Chief of Staff Yaşar Güler and the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Valery Gerasimov discussed Monday the latest developments in Syria amid the ongoing Operation Peace Spring.

Güler and Gerasimov spoke on the security situation in Syria and recent developments, a Turkish General Staff statement said.

Turkish Defense Minister Hukusi Akar later on Monday said he also held a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

The ministers had "constructive" phone talk on coordinating and developing activities in Syria.

Speaking with reporters in the Turkish capital Ankara, Akar said he and Sergey had exchanged information on Syria and their agenda there.

"We discussed what needs to be done [in Syria] to coordinate activities and develop them appropriately," Akar said.

Akar did not mention to the reporters Turkey's current anti-terror operation in northern Syria, but Turkey and Russia have a long history of working together for peace in Syria through the Astana process.

Later on Monday Akar also held a phone call with his French counterpart Florence Parly.

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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