By Ali Cura
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia on Monday said it acknowledges Turkey’s right to self-security, as Ankara plans to launch an operation east of the Euphrates river in northern Syria.
"We are aware of Turkey's acts to ensure its own security and we accept them," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow.
Peskov said his country hopes that Turkey will comply with the precondition of Syria's territorial integrity.
Earlier, Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that his country does not have designs on any country’s territory.
"As part of Syria's territorial integrity, the safe zone plan has two purposes, to secure our borders by eliminating terror elements and to ensure the safe return of refugees," Kalin said in a Twitter post.
Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled the violence to return home.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian branch of the terrorist PKK.
* Writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara