12:14 GMT +321 January 2020
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    Successful Turkish operation in Syria's al-Bab would have been impossible without Russian support and Ankara is grateful to Moscow, the Turkish president's chief adviser Ilnur Cevik said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Euphrates Shield operation by Turkey and Syrian opposition began on August 24, 2016. The city of Jarabulus in northern Syria was captured before the offensive on al-Bab began. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the aim of the operation was to clear the region of terrorists and make it a safety zone for refugees.

    The operation has been criticized by Damascus who has accused Ankara of violating Syria's territorial integrity.

    "[Russian President Vladimir Putin] is providing large support to Turkey. We are very grateful to him for his position on Syria. The Turkish Army carried out a very successful operation in al-Bab. Today al-Bab is controlled by the Turkish Armed Forces… al-Bab is a town that is very important to us strategically… I think we would not have been able to conduct a successful operation in al-Bab without Russian support and we are very grateful to Putin and Russia Armed Forces for the cooperation on that issue," Cevik said.

    On Friday, Chief of the Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar said that al-Bab was under control and the goals of the Euphrates Shield operation in Syria had been achieved.

    Turkey plans to end its operation in Syria after capturing the northern city of Manbij from Kurdish militants, Cevik added.

    Speaking at a conference on Russian-Turkish relations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's aide pointed out that around 85 percent of Manbij and its outskirts is controlled by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), viewed by Ankara as a terrorist organizations.

    "Turkey will do everything right now to restore the Arab population in Manbij, clear it of Kurdish militants. Turkey will stop its operations in Syria after Manbij is taken," Cevik said.

    Speaking at a conference on Russian-Turkish relations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's aide pointed out that around 85 percent of Manbij and its outskirts is controlled by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), viewed by Ankara as a terrorist organization.

    According to Cevik, the Turkish Armed Forces have moved 90 kilometers, or about 56 miles, into the center of Syria.

    On Friday, Chief of the Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar said that the Syrian town of al-Bab was under control.

    The Euphrates Shield operation by Turkey and Syrian opposition began on August 24, 2016. The city of Jarabulus in northern Syria was taken before the offensive on Al Bab began. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the aim of the operation was to clear the region of terrorists and make it a safety zone for refugees.

    Tags:
    military operation in Syria, Hulusi Akar, al-Bab, Turkey, Russia
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