UPDATES WITH ADDITIONAL DETAILS AND BACKGROUND ON TURKEY’S OPERATION
By Ali Murat Alhas
ANKARA (AA) - The Turkish president and the British prime minister held a phone conversation Sunday regarding the political developments, according to the Turkish presidency of communications.
In an official statement, the Directorate of Communications said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed bilateral ties and regional developments.
According to the statement, YPG/PKK terror group's withdrawal from northern Syria in line with Turkey-U.S. agreement, destruction of terror fronts and collecting heavy weaponry were discussed during the phone conversation.
On Oct. 9, Turkey had 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.
On Oct. 17, Turkey agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the planned safe zone.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also agreed on Turkey having 20 miles (32 kilometers) of safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.
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 deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.