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NATO Created Working Group for Monitoring Turkish Operation in Syria - Reports

Sputnik News

17:14 20.10.2019

BERLIN (Sputnik) - NATO has established a working group for the evaluation of Turkey's operation in Syria, with Ankara having committed to provide daily updates on the military action, refugees and damage inflicted in the course of the offensive, the Welt am Sonntag news outlet reported on Sunday.

According to the outlet, the NATO member states had a two-hour long discussion on the Turkish offensive against the Kurd-populated areas of Syria on Wednesday, following which they decided to establish a command-like "working group," which would include intelligence, military and political experts, to monitor Turkey's operation.

Ankara, in turn, committed to provide daily updates on the progress of its operation, the movement of refugees, and damage inflicted in the course of the offensive.

Germany, France, Albania, Iceland, Belgium and Luxembourg reportedly pledged not to provide any support to Turkey's operation.

While the meeting took place before Ankara and Washington agreed on a five-day ceasefire in Syria, Turkey informed the NATO allies that the operation would continue until the first half of November, the news outlet added.

The Turkish operation, dubbed Peace Spring, began on October 9. Ankara wants to clear the Turkish-Syrian border area of Daesh* and Kurdish militia and create a security buffer zone where Turkey could relocate a portion of some 3.6 million Syrian refugees it currently hosts. The international community, including Syria itself, has largely condemned the offensive and urged Turkey to withdraw its troops.

A week later, the United States and Turkey announced concluding a deal on halting Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours for the Kurdish forces to leave the area within an 18-mile buffer zone, which Ankara intends to control unilaterally. Next day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to continue the operation should Washington fail to observe its commitments for the withdrawal of Kurdish troops.

*Daesh - a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries


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