16:36 GMT +321 November 2019
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    Over 10 Prisons Unprotected in Syria, Militants Might Go Back to Homeland - Russian Defence Minister

    Middle East
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - Twelve prisons with foreign militants remained unprotected due to the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, which could cause a surge in the migration of terrorists to their home countries, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Monday.

    "As a result of the actions of the Turkish army in Syria, eight refugee camps and 12 prisons for foreign militants remained unprotected. This could lead to a surge in the so-called reverse migration of terrorists to their historical homeland," Shoigu said at a plenary meeting of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum.

    "There is a need to consolidate the efforts of the entire world community to counter terrorists' challenges, their ideology and propaganda. The Russian Defence Ministry has gained vast experience in this area, which we are ready to share with our partners in the Asia-Pacific region," Shoigu stressed.

    Ankara launched the Operation Peace Spring on October 9, saying that the military action aimed to create the "safe zone" near the Syrian-Turkish border after multiple fruitless discussions between Turkey and the US. The territory on the Syrian side of the border is currently controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which Ankara regards as affiliated with the PKK (banned in Turkey).

    Later, the ceasefire was announced following four-hour talks in Ankara between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US Vice President Mike Pence, who said that the ceasefire will last 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG forces from the area to a distance of about 30 kilometres (about 20 miles) from the border with Turkey.


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