3. Turkey: YPG withdrawal in N.Syria must be confirmed
Turkey: YPG withdrawal in N.Syria must be confirmed

Turkey: YPG withdrawal in N.Syria must be confirmed

Turkish defense minister says must see terrorist YPG withdrawal in safe zone 'with own eyes'


Turkey's national defense minister on Friday said the country needed direct confirmation of reports that YPG terrorists withdrew from parts of northern Syria and destroyed some of their emplacements.

Hulusi Akar said he had received the information from the U.S. but that it had not been confirmed.

"We want to see all of these in person and confirm with our own eyes," Akar said.

He added that four helicopters -- two Turkish and two U.S. -- conducted aerial reconnaissance of the safe zone in northern Syria for almost two hours.

Turkish and U.S. military officials reached an agreement on Aug. 7 that the safe zone in northern Syria will serve as a "peace corridor" for displaced Syrians longing to return home and a Joint Operations Center in Turkey will be set up to coordinate its establishment.

The U.S., which considers the PKK a terrorist organization, changed the YPG’s name to the Syrian Democratic Forces in July 2017 in order to dissociate it with the PKK.

In the last two years, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, allowing hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians to return to their homes.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.