Erdogan: "Turkey will expand safe zone if needed"

Wed 30 Oct 2019 15:37 GMT | 19:37 Local Time

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If needed, Turkey will expand the safe zone in northern Syria, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, APA reports citing Anadolu Agency.

"We will give a drastic response to any attack coming from outside of the safe zone [in northern Syria] and we will expand our safe zone area if needed," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan at his party's parliamentary group.

Erdogan said nearly 700 attacks against Turkey have been carried out by terrorists abroad, especially in Europe, since Turkey started the anti-terror Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.

Those countries which accept YPG/PKK as a terrorist group allow its symbols on their streets while banning all pro-Turkey activities, Erdogan noted.

"Most of them are our addressees in NATO, most of them are our addressees in the EU where we are negotiator right now," said Erdogan.

"Despite all, these attacks are conducted in their countries and moreover they are conducted with police escort," he added.

He called on European countries specifically, saying: "You are making a mistake. The snake you feed today will turn and bite you."

In this "new War of Independence", Turkey is walking "step by step" toward victory, Erdogan said.

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.

Erdogan said that Turkey has cleared 558 settlements in an area of 4,200 square kilometers (1621.6 square miles) by neutralizing over 900 terrorists in northern Syria.

On Oct. 22, Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a meeting in Russia's Black Sea resort town of Sochi.

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists will pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with northern Syria within 150 hours and security forces from Turkey and Russia will conduct joint patrols there.

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 the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

News.Az

 

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