Turkey, Politics

Turkey working to clear N Syria of remaining terrorists

Defense chief says Turkey needs to increase effectiveness, deterrence of Turkish Armed Forces, citing global developments

By Sarp Ozer   | 24.12.2019
Turkey working to clear N Syria of remaining terrorists


Turkey continues its efforts to eliminate remaining terrorists in northern Syria where the country has been carrying out an anti-terror operation since Oct. 9, the nation’s defense minister said on Tuesday.

“Spring Area has been established with this operation [Operation Peace Spring] and it was cleared of terrorists. [...] We have coordinated our activities here by signing deals with the U.S. and Russia. They are ongoing now, especially with Russians. Our friends have been following day and night the remaining terrorists on the west and east of the area,” Hulusi Akar said.

Speaking at a military award ceremony in Ankara, the Turkish capital, Akar pointed to some “significant” military developments in the world and the region and said Turkey needs to further increase the effectiveness and deterrence of Turkish Armed Forces.

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

Since then, Turkey reached agreements with both the U.S. and Russia to force the terrorist YPG/PKK to withdraw from the planned terror-free zone.

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. The YPG is its Syrian offshoot.

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