Turkey threatens a new military offensive on the Syrian border

Turkish President Erdogan threatened on Saturday to resume the military offensive in the border with northern Syria if the Syrian Democratic Forces do not meet the terms of the “security zone” agreed on Tuesday between Turkey and Russia.

“If the terrorists do not withdraw at the end of 150 hours – from 09:00 GMT on October 23 – we will take control and expel them,” Erdogan said in a televised speech, referring to the Kurdish militias of the Popular Protection Units, who lead the SDS.

The Turkish president promised to clean “the border zone of YPG terrorists if Russia does not fulfill its obligations under the Sochi Agreement,” a pact that stipulates that the Russian Military Police and the Syrian border guard enter the Syrian side of the border, outside the zone of Operation Manantial de Paz, to facilitate the withdrawal of the elements of the YPG and their weapons in an area of ​​30 kilometers.

After concluding that the first moment that expires on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. GMT, the deal provides for joint patrols between Moscow and Ankara to begin east and west of the Peace Spring area, with a depth of ten kilometers, except for Qamishli.

Also, Moscow and Ankara agreed to create an agency to verify the application of the memorandum, work “to achieve a political solution” to the conflict in Syria and support the work of the constitutional committee.

However, the SDS commander, Mazlum Kobani, announced Friday that the group “has not accepted” the entire agreement of Turkey and Russia, because after the consultation and they have “reservations” regarding the content.

Erdogan, whose intention is to relocate the approximately 3.6 million refugees from that country in Turkey to a security zone in northern Syria, said he hoped the world would respect Turkish security concerns and support his project.

In this regard, he threatened the European Union, ensuring that “if the projects we have developed for the return of Syrian refugees to their country do not receive support, we will have no choice but to open our borders.”

Turkey maintains control in another region of the northeast, 120 km long, where it has its army deployed after conquering it with an offensive launched on October 9 against the YPG, which they consider a terrorist group.

On the other hand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephone conversation that took place on Saturday discussed the situation in Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“On October 26, at the initiative of the United States, a telephone conversation took place between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; the situation in Syria was discussed,” the statement said.

It is noted that “Russia underlined the need to refrain from adopting measures that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country.”

The entity added that during the telephone conversation some issues of bilateral relations were discussed.

On Tuesday, Russia and Turkey agreed to send units of the Russian military police and Syrian soldiers to the Turkish-Syrian border from October 23 to facilitate the transfer of Kurdish factions about 30 kilometers from the border line.

The withdrawal of Kurdish militias must be completed within 150 hours after noon on October 23.

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