UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS; REVISED THROUGHOUT; REVISED DECK
By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur
ANKARA (AA) - Less than a day after reaching a deal for a pause in Turkey’s anti-terror push in northern Syria, reports of a clash between Turkish forces and YPG/PKK terrorists in the safe zone is nothing but disinformation, Turkey’s president said on Friday.
Turkish security forces will not withdraw from northern Syria as part of the deal reached Thursday with the U.S., Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Friday afternoon.
“Our forces will continue to stay there so we will see whether this terrorist group is leaving the area or not,” Erdogan added.
On Turkey’s 120-hour pause in the anti-terror operation, Erdogan said: "During the 120-hour process, the YPG/PKK terrorist organization will withdraw from the region we have designated a safe zone."
The safe zone will cover 32 kilometers (20 miles) deep from Turkey’s border and 444 km long (276 mi) from eastern to southern Syria.
Turkey and the U.S. came to an agreement on Thursday to pause Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.
On Thursday, Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence agreed to the 120-hour pause in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned safe zone.
Erdogan added that his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin set for next Tuesday is another phase of the safe zone process.