By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria has achieved its objective, the deputy speaker of the Turkish parliament said on Thursday.
"Operation Peace Spring achieved its objective, the terror groups have been cleared, and the Syrian people have been saved from persecution of the terrorists," said Sureyya Sadi Bilgic, a lawmaker of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
Bilgic noted that Turkey carried out the operation in accordance with its rights based on international law, and that Turkish lawmakers "were never separate from each other on national issues."
Operation Peace Spring, launched on Oct. 9, aims to eliminate terrorist YPG/PKK elements from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
On Oct. 22, Turkey and Russia reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols 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 European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.