15:35 GMT +319 November 2019
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    Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the media

    Turkey Launched Operation in Syria Because US Failed to Observe Commitments - Minister

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkey has launched the military operation in Kurd-populated north of Syria because the United States failed to observe its commitments on establishing a jointly controlled demilitarized zone in the area, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

    "Sanctions against Turkey will achieve nothing. It is necessary to observe promises given to Turkey. We began the operation in the north of Syria because the US failed to observe its commitments," Cavusoglu said at an international conference on media freedom in Azerbaijan.

    Turkey has launched Operation Peace Spring in north Syria on October 9. The Turkish offensive is part of Ankara's long-standing goal to clear its Syria-facing border area of the Daesh* terrorists and the Kurdish militia from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), whom Ankara designates as a single terrorist organization.

    The PKK/YPG seek to establish a Kurdish autonomous state, including in parts of Turkey, an aspiration that expectedly has met a strong confrontation in Ankara and subsequent anti-PKK raids by the Turkish security forces. The idea of establishing a buffer safe zone as a solution to tensions between Turkey and the US-allied YPG militia was proposed by US President Donald Trump in January.

    The two sides have held numerous rounds of talks on the matter, after each of which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Ankara was ready to launch an offensive against the PKK/YPG if talks yield no results and the creation of the safe zone gets delayed any longer.

    *Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State/IS), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a wide number of other countries.

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    Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mevlut Cavusoglu
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