Turkey says it sees no need for new operation in northern Syria


Ankara, Oct 23 (IANS): Turkey sees no need to launch a new offensive in northern Syria outside the area it already controls, the Turkish Defence Ministry said Wednesday after the US reported the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the border area.

The Turkish Defence Ministry statement was published a few hours after the expiry of a five-day ceasefire agreed on October 17 in Ankara with a US delegation, Efe news reported.

However, "Turkey will never allow a terrorist corridor to be formed south of its borders, and our fight against terrorism will continue with determination," said the Ministry, according to Anadolu news agency.

The statement referred to the objective of the land-air military offensive known as Operation Peace Spring that Ankara launched on October 9 in northeastern Syria against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which it considers terrorists.

The Ministry also stressed the joint patrol agreement reached Tuesday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Russian city of Sochi and said the joint military cooperation in the area would begin the following day.

On his return flight, Erdogan said he would study the situation with the Defence Ministry after the end of the ceasefire to decide next steps.

"The promises made according to the agreement we reached with the US were not fully fulfilled. When we land we will evaluate the situation with the Ministry of Defence and Intelligence, and take the necessary steps," the Turkish president told reporters who accompanied him on the trip.

  

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