By Enes Kaplan
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) - In a phone call, Turkey's president briefed his French counterpart about the aims of the country's ongoing anti-terror operation in northern Syria, according to Turkey's Communications Directorate.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Emmanuel Macron about the threat that PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria pose to both Turkey's security and Syria’s territorial integrity.
He also stressed Operation Peace Spring's future contributions to both regional and global peace and stability.
Before the phone call, Macron had criticized the operation, claiming in particular it could help a revival of terrorist group Daesh.
Turkey has pushed back against the criticisms, saying it expects its NATO allies to stand with it in fighting terrorism. He also accused countries which refuse to repatriate their nationals who joined Daesh -- like France -- of hypocrisy in anti-terrorist efforts.
Turkey last Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring 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.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
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 the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
*Writing by Sena Guler