‘All YPG terrorists in Tal Rifat, Manbij to be removed’


All YPG/PKK terrorists will be removed from in Syria’s Tal Rifat and Manbij, Turkish President Recep Tayyyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.

“All YPG terrorists and their weapons in Tal Rifat and Manbij will be taken out from this region,” Erdogan said after more than six-hour-long meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Russia’s coastal city of Sochi.

His one-day working visit to Sochi came after Ankara 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.

Erdogan said YPG/PKK terrorists and their weapons will be removed to the depth of 30 kilometers (19 miles) off Turkey’s border in northern Syria, which should be finalized in 150 hours starting at 12 noon (0900GMT) on Oct. 23.

He added that Turkey and Russia are set to launch joint patrols 10 kilometers (6 miles) off east and west of Operation Peace Spring area.

“Turkey and Russia will not allow any separatist agenda in Syria,” Erdogan said.

Putin, for his part, said Russia has repeatedly noted that it understands Turkey’s desire to take steps to reliably guarantee its national security.

“We share the concern of the Turkish side in connection with the intensification of terrorism and the growth of ethnic and religious contradictions in this area,” he added.

Russian president said a “durable and long-term” stabilization in Syria can be achieved only if the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country are respected.

“This is a principled position, and we have discussed this in detail with the President of Turkey. It is important that our partners share this approach,” he added.

Putin also said Syrian Constitutional Committee will have its first meeting on Oct. 29-30 in Geneva.
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