“We will secure the area extending from Manbij to the Iraqi border and then facilitate one million Syrian refugees’ return home in the first phase and, later on, the return of two million people,” he said, speaking at the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) in Azerbaijan.
The gravest threat against peace, serenity and stability in the region stems from terrorist organizations, he said, stressing that the presence of such “evil networks as the PKK/YPG, DAESH [ISIL] and FETÖ has rendered it more important that we cooperate in the area of security.”
“What is experienced in Syria over the past eight years has shown that it is impossible to eliminate a terrorist organization by means of another one,” Erdoğan stated, noting that Turkey has taken a crucial step on Oct. 9 to “eliminate the PKK/YPG terrorist organization.”
The Operation Peace Spring, which began on Oct. 9, has two important goals, he said.
“The first one is to totally remove the terror threat emanating from the PKK/YPG in the north of Syria.”
The second goal of the operation is to enable the 3.65 million Syrians who Turkey has been hosting for eight years to “return to their homeland with their minds at peace,” Erdoğan said.
Hurriyet Daily News