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  • Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters return from the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad, as they are pictured on the Turkish-Syrian border in Akcakale, Turkey, October 19, 2019.

    Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters return from the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad, as they are pictured on the Turkish-Syrian border in Akcakale, Turkey, October 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 October 2019
Opinion

“We paused the operation for five days. In this time, the terrorists will withdraw from the safe zone, their weapons will be collected and position destroyed. If this doesn’t happen, we will continue the operation,” Akar said.

The Turkish military and their allied rebel forces are ready to resume their offensive dubbed Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday.

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Akar vowed to resume the Turkish military operation if the Kurdish fighters along the Syrian border do not withdraw from the area that was supposed to be a safe zone.

Turkey and Washington agreed on Thursday for Ankara to halt its offensive for 120 hours while the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia withdraws from a “safe zone” in northeastern Syria. On Saturday, the fragile ceasefire was holding along the Syrian border.

“We paused the operation for five days. In this time, the terrorists will withdraw from the safe zone, their weapons will be collected and position destroyed. If this doesn’t happen, we will continue the operation,” Akar said.

“Our preparations are ready. With the necessary order, our soldiers are ready to go anywhere,” he told an event in Kayseri.

On Saturday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces accused the Turkish military and their allied rebels of attacking their positions near the border city of Ras Al-Ain. The Syrian Democratic Forces have vowed to respond to these hostilities if they continue. 

Turkey's Operation Peace Spring began on Wednesday, October 9th; it has resulted in the capture of several border areas, including the city of Tal Abyad in the Al-Raqqa province. 

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