‘Turkey nears its strategic goals through Sochi deal’

ANKARA

The deal reached with Russia in the Black Sea city of Sochi has brought Ankara’s operation in northern Syria to its final stage, Turkey’s ruling party spokesman said Thursday.

In a news conference in Ankara, Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik said: “The threat against our national security and the separatist plots failed at this stage.”

Ankara and Moscow reached a deal on Tuesday under which YPG/PKK terrorists will 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 will conduct joint patrols there.

The deal came during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s one-day visit to Sochi where he met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The ruling party spokesman also stressed that Turkish troops will not withdraw until stability is ensured in northern Syria.

Celik criticized those who call Turkey “an occupying force”.

“Those who spread this propaganda when the operation began saying that we were an occupying force have once again been embarrassed,” he added.

Celik said that Turkey is determined to fight against terrorist organizations and he accused the EU countries of backing off the responsibility of Daesh prisoners. “Every country should take its own citizens,” Celik said.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

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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