BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:25 A.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country has not yet obtained the desired results from conducting joint patrols in northern Syria, indicating that its primary goal is to return refugees to their areas after they have been cleared of ‘terrorists’.
“I cannot say that we have obtained the desired results by conducting patrols in northeastern Syria,” Erdogan said in an interview with the Turkish channel TRT, pointing out that “the main goal for Turkey is to clear the northern region of Syria from terrorists, and we focused on our right to do so. The request was on the table of understanding with Russia and America. ”
“Our goal is to return the Syrian refugees to their areas,” Erdogan added.
On October 9th, Turkey launched their Operation Peace Spring operation in northern Syria to “cleanse these lands of terrorists.”
The ‘terrorists’ referenced’ by Turkey are members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and People’s Protection Units (YPG). Turkey claims these two groups are offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who fought a long war against the Turkish Army in the latter part of the 1900s.
Operation Peace Spring has since been halted after a prolonged meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the resort city of Sochi on October 22, 2019.
The two sides agreed on several points regarding Syria, the most important being the withdrawal of the YPG and SDF from the 30km-deep safe zone along the Turkish border.