Turkey made safe over 8,100-sq-km-area in N.Syria from which terrorists targeted Turkish territory: President Erdogan
The Turkish president on Sunday said 365,000 refugees have returned to their homeland in northern Syria.
The Syrian refugees returned to the regions that Turkey has made safe through its anti-terror operations, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, speaking at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in the capital Ankara.
Erdogan stressed that Turkey would make the return of more Syrian refugees possible either by organizing an international donors meeting or through some model projects.
Turkey has made an area of over 8,100 square kilometers (around 3,130 square miles) in northern Syria safe for their return, the president added.
He said this was achieved through three cross-border military operations Turkey conducted in Syria, referring to Operations Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch and Peace Spring.
In those operations, Turkey neutralized 3,500 Daesh/ISIS terrorists and arrested 5,500.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity. Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.