By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition's "demographic engineering" in northeastern Syria prompted Turkey's military operation in the area, Russia's envoy to the UN charged Thursday.
"This operation is a result of demographic engineering that some of the coalition partners did in the northeast of Syria," Vassily Nebenzia told reporters at the international body's New York headquarters. "Now in fact the coalition is reaping the fruit of their demographic policies in that part of Syria."
The Russian diplomat delivered his remarks following a closed-door Security Council session on the situation in Syria.
"We are encouraging the Kurds to engage in dialogue with the Syrian government, but as you know they preferred other protectors," he added.
Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, to secure its borders and Syria’s territorial integrity, by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees.
Turkey has said the terrorist group PKK and its extension the YPG/PYD constitute the biggest threat to Syria’s future, jeopardizing the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.
Ankara has also stressed that supporting terrorists, under the pretext of fighting Daesh is unacceptable.
Turkey has a 911-kilometer (566-miles) border with Syria and it has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates River and the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there.
Turkey plans to resettle two million Syrians in a 30-km-wide (19-miles) proposed safe zone in Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij. However, the presence of terror groups such as the PKK, PYD, and YPG risk its formation.
Ankara has freed an area of 4,000 square km (1,544 square miles) in Syria from terrorist groups in two separate cross-border operations.