By Ali Murat Alhas
ANKARA (AA) - Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) said Saturday it monitored ground developments in northern Syria following agreement between Turkey and the U.S. on withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from planned safe zone.
“The TAF closely monitors the withdrawal of PKK / YPG terrorists from the region in 120 hours in accordance with the agreement reached by Turkey and the USA on October 17, 2019,” the TAF said in an official statement.
It added: “There are absolutely no impediments to withdrawal in this regard, and the information concerning the roads to be used safely was transmitted to the US military authorities.”
Noting that the "close coordination" with the U.S. officials continued, the statement went on to say that a convoy of 39 vehicles -- mostly ambulances -- safely entered and left Rasulayn and injured people were safely evacuated.
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 Thursday, 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.
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YPG/PKK withdrawal ‘followed closely’ by Turkish army
By Ali Murat Alhas