Turkey will continue Operation Peace Spring until the last terrorist affiliated with the PKK and its Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG) leaves northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Friday, ONA reports citing Daily Sabah.
"This is one aspect (of the situation). Secondly, we will not leave Syria unless other countries do so. We have a 911-kilometer border with Syria. Neither Russia nor the U.S. nor Iran have a border here. We will use our rights emanating from the Adana Agreement until terrorist groups are cleared from this area," Erdoğan told journalists accompanying him during his visit to Hungary.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9, in order to clear northeastern Syria, specifically the east of the Euphrates River, of terrorists and create a safe zone along the border, paving the way for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees.
The Adana Agreement was signed between Turkey and Syria in October 1998, and clearly stated that Syria would not allow any PKK activities within its borders and would block any terrorist activities that would threaten Turkey's sovereignty.
Erdoğan stressed that neither the U.S. nor Russia have fully implemented the agreements reached with Turkey last month which envisaged the withdrawal of YPG militants near the Turkish border, underlining that Ankara will continue its military operation if promises are not kept.
"Russia, as is well-known, acts with the (Bashar Assad) regime, which is affiliated with the PKK/YPG terrorist groups in some locations. This affiliation still continues, unchanged. For example, there's Manbij – the U.S. had previously promised us it would expel terrorist groups from that area within 90 days, but after one-and-a-half to two years, they are still there. Thanks to our intelligence we know whatever happens there," he said.
Under the agreement hammered out in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi between Ankara and Moscow last month after Turkey's cross-border anti-terror operation in Syria, the YPG terrorists were given a 150-hour deadline to withdraw.