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'Turkey's efforts prevented terror state in N. Syria'

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Turkey’s anti-terror efforts in Syria defeated the establishment of a terror state in the war-weary country, Turkish foreign minister said on Wednesday. reports citing Turkish media.

"This operation [Peace Spring], and these efforts in fact averted a terror state that terrorists wanted to establish,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk.

“An important step has been taken for Syrians to return their homes. What is important was to the withdrawal of terrorists. Local administrations will be established in the safe zone,” he added.

Addressing Turkey’s recent counter-terrorism push in northern Syria, Cavusoglu dubbed Operation Peace Spring “a milestone in Syria's future."

“World's two biggest powers accept legitimacy of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria,” Cavusoglu said referring to deals with the U.S. and Russia.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring Syria to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Ankara agreed with Washington on Oct. 17 to pause its operation for 120-hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned safe zone.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a "historic" meeting in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi just hours before the pause was set to expire.

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 km south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will start to conduct joint patrols in the region.

“These agreements are very important for our national security, they also made history as diplomatic and political achievements,” Cavusoglu stressed.

Cavusoglu said that a safe zone will be established in the region extending from the Euphrates River in Syria to the Iraqi border under Tuesday’s Sochi agreement.

YPG/PKK terrorists will be retreated 30 kilometers [18 miles] south of Turkish border in Syria, including the eastern parts of Qamishli, and Ras al-Ayn, northern Syrian cities, as well as Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), and Cavusoglu said.

2019.10.23 / 15:42
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