Turkish president briefed on operation in N Syria

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Sunday a command and control center in the border province of Sanliurfa where he was briefed about the ongoing operation in northern Syria.

He was accompanied by Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler, intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, Sanliurfa Governor Abdullah Erim, and senior members of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to clear northeastern Syria east of the Euphrates River of terrorists and create a safe zone along the border, thereby paving the way for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees.

Ankara has repeatedly expressed its determination to clear northern Syria of both Daesh/ISIS and YPG/PKK terrorist groups.

Ankara and Washington reached a deal on Oct. 17 to pause the operation for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned safe zone.

On Oct. 22, Turkey also reached an agreement with Russia on a 10-point plan to force the YPG/PKK to withdraw from the planned terror-free zone.

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. The YPG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

Source: Anadolu Agency