Turkey to continue Syria op until goals achieved, Erdoğan says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 15.10.2019 12:18
Updated 15.10.2019 12:54
Syrian National Army troops raising the Syrian flag in Tal Abyad after the city's liberation from YPG terrorists (AA Photo)
Syrian National Army troops raising the Syrian flag in Tal Abyad after the city's liberation from YPG terrorists (AA Photo)

Turkey will continue its anti-terror operation in northern Syria until all goals have been achieved, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday.

Speaking at the Turkic Council Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, Erdoğan said Turkey aims to liberate the area from Manbij, Syria to the Iraqi border, providing voluntary resettlement of around 3 million Syrians.

He noted that Turkey has cleared 1,000-square-kilometer area from terrorists in Operation Peace Spring.

"We expect strong support from our brothers regarding Turkey's fight against terrorism," Erdoğan said, urging Turkic countries to give their support.

The president highlighted that the summit is historical as the Turkic Council's influence is increasing, adding that Turkey hopes the council will gain observer status at the United Nations Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

He also pledged Turkey's support for Azerbaijan for the peaceful resolution of the Upper-Karabakh conflict.

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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