Turkish leader acclaims Sochi deal on N. Syria

ISTANBUL, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkish-Russian agreement, struck on Wednesday in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, dealt a new blow to the terrorist corridor the YPG/PKK sought to establish in north Syria.

Under the 10-point deal, Russia understood Turkey’s security concerns and undertook to work for meeting Ankara’s demands and maintaining security and stability in north Syria, a presidential statement cited Erdogan as saying.

The President made the press remarks after arriving from a one-day visit to Sochi where he met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss Turkey’s anti-terror Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.

During the summit meeting, both sides signed the deal meant to allay Turkey’s concerns over the presence of Kurdish People’s Protection Units and Kurdistan Workers Party (YPG/PKK) separatists along its soughern borders.

The deal, the fruit of strenuous effort, provides for the preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and preparing the ground for voluntary return of Syrian refugees from Turkey, he said, noting that Turkey would continue working for permanent political settlement to the Syrian crisis.

Asked why Qamishli was excluded from the joint Turkish-Russian patrols, Erdogan said there are Russian and Syrian troops deployed in Syria’s northeastern city and both sides want to avoid any clash with the Turkish troops and so does Turkey.

The agreement with Russia stipulates that all YPG/PKK terrorists will be removed from Syria’s Tal Rifat and Manbij. If they fail to pull out from the area, Turkey will resume its military operation, Erdogan vowed.

He added that he made his point clear to the Russians and the Americans, noting that President Putin promised to evict the YPG/PKK terrorists from the region.

On the situation in Ayn al-Arab (Kobane) city, he said Russia, unlike the US, used to encourage Turkey to enter the city, he said.

The administration of former US president Barack Obama had long provided the YPG/PKK terrorists with large quantities weapons and encouraged them to occupy the city, thus forcing nearly 350,000 Arab residents to flee to Turkey, Erdogan added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency