ANKARA, October 19. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will focus on presence of Syrian forces in northern Syria at talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Erdogan said in the city of Kayseri on Saturday, with his speech aired by the NTV channel.
"Yesterday, I held talks with US President Donald Trump. On Tuesday we will be continuing talks with Mr. Putin. In the area of the operation are forces of the regime [of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad] under Russia’s protection. We will be tackling the issue with Mr. Putin," he stressed.
Moreover, Erdogan vowed that in case he fails to "reach agreements on that issue [with Russia], Turkey will be implementing its own plans".
On Friday, the Turkish president promised to focus at talks with Putin the process of establishing ‘a safe zone’ in the east of the Euphrates River in Syria, where Ankara wants to set up 12 observation posts.
Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring will be continued in Syria in case Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units fail to withdraw from the area in Syria that Ankara has designated as ‘a safe area’, Erdogan said.
"Today is the second day [since the operation was suspended]. The process will end on Tuesday night," Erdogan said. "In case the promises to Turkey are not fulfilled, we won’t be waiting as before. We will be going ahead with the operation and will keep on destroying terrorists," he promised.
On October 9, Ankara launched its Peace Spring military operation in northern Syria. The operation is geared 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 world community has condemned Ankara’s actions.
On October 17, the United States and Turkey reached an agreement to suspend combat operation. Turkey agreed to cease fire for a span of 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.