ISTANBUL, October 18. /TASS/. Turkey will set up another 12 checkpoints in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Friday. A TASS correspondent was present at the news conference.
"The slide shows the ‘safe zone’ [planned by Ankara]. The locations where we will be establishing observation posts are highlighted in blue," Erdogan said. He answered 'yes' to a reporter’s question on whether there would be 12 of them.
Currently, Turkey has 12 observation posts in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria. According to Erdogan, Ankara has retaken 1,300 square kilometers from terrorists.
"I spoke to [Turkish] National Defense Minister [Hulusi Akar] this morning, and he told me that [the agreement with the US to suspend Operation Peace Spring in Syria] is being implemented without any problems," he added.
On October 9, Ankara launched its Peace Spring military operation in northern Syria. The operation aims to establish a buffer zone in Syria’s northern regions, along the Turkish border, where Syrian refugees could return from Turkey. Syria’s SANA news agency slammed Ankara’s operation as an act of aggression. The international community has condemned Ankara’s actions.
On October 17, the United States and Turkey reached an agreement to suspend the military operation. Turkey agreed to cease fire for 120 hours to give Kurdish units of the Syrian Democratic Forces time to leave the area of the border security zone Ankara is seeking to create.
Syrian President Bashar Assad said earlier on Friday that in terms of international law, Turkey’s offensive is nothing but "aggression and the Syrian people have the legal right to resist occupational troops with all the means that they have."