Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan replied to a tweet of his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Thursday.
“Mr. President, many more lives will be saved when we defeat terrorism, which is humanity’s arch enemy. I am confident that this joint effort will promote peace and stability in our region,” Erdogan tweeted.
Mr. President, many more lives will be saved when we defeat terrorism, which is humanity’s arch enemy. I am confident that this joint effort will promote peace and stability in our region.
— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) October 17, 2019
Erdogan’s remarks came shortly after Ankara agreed with Washington to pause Operation Peace Spring for five days so that YPG/PKK could leave the region.
Trump has said in a tweet, “Great news out of Turkey. News Conference shortly with @VP and @SecPompeo. Thank you to @RTErdogan. Millions of lives will be saved!”
According to a joint statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the operation will be paused when the withdrawal of YPG terrorists, the Syrian branch of PKK terror group, is completed.
Among the terms are the re-collection of YPG heavy weapons and the destroying of their fortifications and all other fighting positions.
Turkey will get 20 miles (32 kilometers) of safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told a press conference in Ankara following a meeting with Erdogan that took more than an hour-and-a-half.
Pence said that Turkey and the U.S. also agreed to eliminate Daesh completely in Syria’s northeast, underscoring that Washington agreed to withdraw the existing sanctions when the operation is halted.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria on Oct. 9 in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear the region east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG.
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.
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