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US, Turkey have ‘complete understanding’ about operation in Syria — Erdogan’s adviser

NEW YORK, October 10. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier clarified all details of his country’s military operation in northern Syria to his US counterpart Donald Trump, Erdogan’s Senior Adviser Gulnur Aybet said in an interview with CNN.

"President Trump and President Erdogan have reached an understanding over precisely what this operation is," she said, adding that the two leaders "will meet in Washington on the 13th of November to actually discuss further details."

According to Aybet, Trump and Erdogan are expected to discuss, among other things, the fate of detained members of the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) and "the responsibility of the international community" in that regard.

The Turkish presidential adviser added that both Ankara and Washington agree that "those foreign fighters that are from Europe should eventually be returned to the countries that they came from."

She went on to say that "there is a clear understanding" between Trump and Erdogan regarding the operation in Syria."

"I don’t know what he meant by some of those Tweets, but I would guess that he is also concerned about the limits. But he knows what the scope of this operation is," she replied when asked to comment on some of the US president’s tweets, in which he threatened Turkey if it does anything "off limits."

The Turkish official said Washington did not close the airspace above northern Syria for Turkish aircraft taking part in the operation.

"Well, at the moment, as you can see, we are actually attacking, also from the air, so that actually speaks for itself, I guess," she said, when asked if such attempts had taken place.

She also stressed that the Turkish operation was "not an operation against the Syrian Kurds," adding that the strikes targeted Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish group which is a member of the Syrian Democratic Forces. In her words, Turkey associates this group to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.

YPG "has been launching attacks against Turkey," Aybet said.

The US president earlier said in a Twitter post that "any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency."

On Wednesday, Ankara launched a new military operation in northern Syria dubbed Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on positions of Kurdish units. The objective is to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where up to 3 million Syrians refugees could return, Ankara believes. Syria’s SANA news agency branded the operation as aggression. Following these developments, France, Germany, the UK, Belgium and Poland called for a UN Security Council closed-door meeting on Syria, which will be held on Thursday.