Germany welcomes Turkey-US deal on Syria

BERLIN

Germany on Friday welcomed Turkish agreement with the U.S. to pause Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria and allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the safe zone along the Turkish-Syrian border.

“We strongly welcome every effort to put an end to fighting in northeastern Syria, to de-escalate the situation and to protect the civilian population,” Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesman Christofer Burger told a news conference in Berlin.

He said German government was in talks with its partners on the latest developments, and expressed hope that the agreement would contribute to a permanent end to fighting and pave the way for a political solution.

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.

The U.S. administration, which had long supported the YPG/PKK group in fight against Daesh in the region, heavily criticized the operation.

Amid heightened tensions, the two NATO allies reached an agreement on Thursday to pause Turkish operation for 120 hours to allow YPG/PKK to withdraw nearly 30 km (20 miles) back from the Turkey-Syria border.

Turkey has long criticized the U.S. military involvement in northern Syria and its support for the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is controlled by the YPG terrorist group.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.

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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