President visits border for ‘Operation Peace Spring’
He was briefed during a visit to the joint operation center of the Turkish Land Forces Command in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, the presidency said on its Twitter account.
Turkey launched “Operation Peace Spring,” on Oct. 9 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 YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so that a safe zone can be created to resettle some 2 million Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey.
Turkey and the U.S. agreed on Oct. 17 to pause “Operation Peace Spring” for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK forces from the planned 20-mile (32-kilometer) safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria.
On Oct. 22, Turkey and Russia reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would 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 would conduct joint patrols there. The 150-hour period ended on Oct. 29.
Tal Abyad attack
Meanwhile, Turkey strongly condemned the terror attack which claimed the lives of at least 13 civilians in Tal Abyad, Syria on Nov. 2.
“We strongly condemn the inhumane attack of the bloody PKK/YPG terrorists who carried out a bomb attack against the innocent civilians of Tal Abyad who were able to return to their homes and lands as a result of ‘Operation Peace Spring’ and we call on all countries to take a stand against this brutal terror group,” the Defense Ministry said in a written statement.
The ministry said, citing the initial reports, at least 13 civilians were killed and some 20 others were injured in the attack which targeted a marketplace in the center of Tal Abyad.
Turkey deems the YPG as the Syrian branch of the outlawed PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.