On 9 October, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in Kurdish-dominated northeastern Syria with the stated goal of clearing the border area of “terrorists” (this term is broadly applied by Ankara to Kurdish forces) and create a security zone for a safe return of refugees.
Commenting on the operation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged that Daesh* will not resurface in the area following the offensive.
Turkey's actions, however, have caused a massive backlash from the international community with some countries, namely - Finland and Norway, halting military cooperation with Ankara, and others thinking about imposing sanctions against Ankara.
*Daesh, also known as ISIS/IS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.
Ankara vowed to send additional troops to the province after the region saw an escalation of violence at the end of February, as per an agreement reached with Moscow on 5 March.
Russia brokered a ceasefire deal between Turkey and Syria on Thursday, which wrapped up weeks of fighting in Syria’s last rebel-held province that caused dozens of casualties on both sides.
ANTAKYA (Sputnik) - The Free Syrian Army has abandoned 11 Syrian villages, situated along the M4 highway, ceding control to the Russian military police following Turkey's request, a source close to the FSA said on Wednesday.
The presidents of the two countries previously agreed upon the terms of the withdrawal of Syrian Kurds from the northern part of the Arab Republic and on mechanisms to ensure they won't return.
The withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the Syrian border region with Turkey was one of Ankara's conditions to stop its military offensive there. The Turkish and Russian presidents negotiated in Sochi last week that Moscow and Damascus would facilitate the Kurdish withdrawal process.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, briefing her on his agreements with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Syria in light of Ankara's offensive, the Kremlin said.
ANKARA (Sputnik) - At 20 least foreign nationals were arrested on Monday in Ankara for their suspected links to the Daesh* terrorist organisation, the Anadolu news agency reported.
Earlier this week, Germany's ruling party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), proposed sending a joint European army of 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers to set up a security zone in Syria.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Monday that she would propose to the NATO member states to create an internationally-controlled safe zone, with the involvement of Turkey and Russia, in northern Syria, which is currently subjected to the Turkish military operation.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkey launched its offensive in Syria's north, aimed at clearing the border of Kurdish militants, on 9 October. Meanwhile, on 17 October US Vice President Mike Pence announced a 120-hour ceasefire in Syria's north after talks with Erdogan in Ankara. The aim of the ceasefire is to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish-led forces.
Russia, the United States and Turkey should attempt to strengthen regional security, which has seen a decrease after the start of Ankara's operation in Syria, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Monday.
ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to continue Turkey's military operation in north Syria upon expiry of the 120-hour ceasefire, brokered within a Turkish-US deal, if the US fails to observe its commitments in terms of ensuring the withdrawal of the Kurdish troops from the agreed area.
Turkey on Friday agreed to put its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria on pause, which Donald Trump said would help the United States “secure the oil” in the Middle East.
Turkey’s military operation against terrorist and Kurdish militia in northern Syria has had the unexpected side effect of uniting the Kurdish forces with Damascus, with the sides reaching a security agreement to allow Syrian Army forces to enter Kurdish-governed areas to help defend them against Ankara.
While raising questions about the future of the entire region, Turkey’s operation in Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria has flared up tensions between the respective group's diaspora communities in other parts of the globe.
Donald Trump has been sending mixed signals about the Turkish operation in Syria, now in its second week: he first appeared to endorse it by withdrawing the 1,000 troops from the path of Turkish forces but a week later imposed economic sanctions on Turkey.
Donald Trump’s take on the Turkish encroachment in Syria has apparently been unstable: the US president effectively cleared the way for the operation by withdrawing US troops from the area, but later threatened to impose sanctions against Turkey as the offensive went on.
On 9 October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the launch of Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria. Ankara claimed the military operation, which has widely been condemned by the international community, aims to clear a 30-35 kilometre-wide (18-22 miles) 'zone' along Turkey’s border with Syria.
While suggesting that Norway was better prepared for a migrant crisis this time, Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr has voiced a plan to place newcomers in tents to avoid projecting an image of luxury and sending the wrong signal.
Testy US-Turkish relations sunk to a new low last week after Ankara launched a military operation in northern Syria, with Washington and its European partners criticising the attack on their erstwhile Syrian Kurdish allies, with Ankara vowing that nothing would stop its operations to shore up the security of its southern borders.