President Erdoğan urges US to ensure YPG withdrawal

Published 20.10.2019 19:27
emAA Photo/em
AA Photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday Ankara expects the U.S. to facilitate the withdrawal of People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists from northern Syria, warning that Turkey may resume its operation otherwise.

Speaking at an anti-smoking program held in Istanbul, Erdoğan said: "We expect our American allies to keep their promises this time."

President Erdoğan added that a total of 765 YPG terrorists, including seniors, were neutralized as part of the country's counter-terrorism campaign in northern Syria, adding 1,500 square-kilometers of the territory was rescued from the terror group.

He said that if the YPG does not observe the 120-hour pullout period, Turkey will immediately resume its operation.

Erdoğan went onto say that Turkey made the agreement with the U.S., not YPG terrorists, and some parties sought to distort this fact.

Stressing that Turkey would enjoy YPG's withdrawal from the safe-zone territory, Erdoğan said Ankara would take the safe-zone area under protection, adding: "We studied well, all projects are ready."

Operation Peace Spring was launched on Oct. 9 in order to secure Turkey's borders, aid the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria's territorial integrity. 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.

On Oct. 17, Turkey agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG forces from the planned safe zone.

President Erdoğan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also agreed on Turkey having 20 miles (32 kilometers) of safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria.

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.

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