By Firat Tasdemir
ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish Armed Forces chief and his Russian counterpart spoke on the phone on Monday amid Turkey’s ongoing anti-terrorist operation in northern Syria
Gen. Yasar Guler and Gen. Valery Gerasimov spoke on the security situation in Syria and recent developments, said a Turkish General Staff statement.
Turkey on Oct. 9 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.
Russia has supported the Syrian regime in the country’s eight-year civil war.
Although Turkey has opposed the Syrian regime, it has worked alongside Russia for peace in Syria through the Astana process.
In 2017 the Astana peace process to end the Syrian conflict was spearheaded by Turkey, Russia, and Iran in Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), Kazakhstan's capitol, and since then has seen over a dozen meetings.
*Writing by Sena Guler