By Enes Kaplan
ANKARA (AA) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed over the phone recent developments in Syria as well as Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin, according to a Turkish presidential source Tuesday.
According to the source, Erdogan told Putin the Turkish operation is aimed at clearing PYD/YPG and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
Erdogan pointed out that Turkey values working in coordination with Russia on Syria. Turkish president also said the operation, which aims to secure Turkey’s national security, will also contribute to Syria’s political unity and territorial integrity.
The two leaders also confirmed their determination to continue efforts for the success of upcoming Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, slated for Jan. 28-29.
Earlier on Tuesday Erdogan spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to discuss Syria.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
According to the military, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military has also said it is putting "utmost importance" on not harming any civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.