The Turkish president said on Sunday Ankara expects U.S. to facilitate the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria, warns Turkey may resume operation otherwise.
Speaking at an anti-smoking program held in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “We expect our American allies to keep their promises this time.”
President Erdogan added that a total of 765 YPG/PKK 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.
Erdogan went onto say that Turkey made the agreement with the U.S., not YPG/PKK terrorists, and some parties sought to distort this fact.
Stressing that Turkey would enjoy YPG/PKK’s withdrawal from the safe-zone territory, Erdogan said Ankara would take the safe-zone area under protection, adding: “We studied well, all projects are ready.”
On Oct. 9, Turkey had 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.
On Oct. 17, Turkey agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the planned safe zone.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 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.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.
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.
By Ali Murat Alhas