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.
“Turkey’s efforts have prevented establishment of a terror state in northern Syria,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk.
Addressing Turkey’s recent counter-terrorism push in northern Syria, Cavusoglu called 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 the U.S. and Russia.
YPG/PKK terrorists will be retreated 30 kilometers [18 miles] south of Turkish border in Syria, including the northeastern Qamishli city, Cavusoglu added.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring 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.
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 deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.