Turkey expects some four million Syrians to return to the safe zones that will be set up by Ankara in the war-torn country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Jan. 28.
“We are aiming in the first phase to create safe zones where four million Syrians who now live in our country can return,” Erdoğan said in a speech during a coordination meeting between Red Crescent and Red Cross representatives in Istanbul.
Turkey held “positive talks” with both Washington and Russia, Erdoğan said, vowing to “continue to be in contact with powers which have a military presence in the field.”
“We will soon bring security and peace to the east of the Euphrates,” he added, while noting that Ankara will “clear” the remnants of ISIL from Syria, which he said were “deliberately left there and trained against Turkey.”
Erdoğan also admitted that the Islamic world “has been unable to effectively cope with crises in its own region.”
In recent days, Turkish officials said Turkey has completed all preparations for an operation east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, which Ankara said would serve territorial integrity in the war-torn country.