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Turkey hails Syria ceasefire, says 'terror fight' to continue

Ankara last month launched a military operation against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in the western enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.

Published: 25th February 2018 06:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2018 06:29 PM   |  A+A-

Turkey welcomes 30-day ceasefire in Syria. (File |AP)

By AFP

ANKARA: Turkey on Sunday welcomed the unanimous demand by the UN Security Council for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria but insisted that its own operations against groups deemed by Ankara to be terror organisations would continue.

With support from the Damascus regime's ally Russia, the Security Council Saturday adopted a resolution on the ceasefire to allow for aid delivery as concern rises over the humanitarian situation in the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta.

"We welcome the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council in response to the worsening humanitarian situation all across Syria, in particular in Eastern Ghouta," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

But it added that Turkey "will remain resolute in fighting against the terrorist organisations that threaten the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria."

Ankara last month launched a military operation against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in the western enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.

The operation has raised tensions with Washington, which works closely with the YPG in the fight against jihadists in Syria.

But Turkey sees the YPG as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which for over three decades has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state and is banned by Turkey, the US and the European Union as a terror group.

A top Turkish official was quoted as saying by the NTV channel that the UN Security Council demand would have no effect on the operation against the YPG in Afrin.

"As the operation that Turkey is waging is an operation against terror, this decision will have no impact on that operation," said the official, who was not named.

The YPG however said in a statement it was prepared to halt all military operations -- except those against Islamic State jihadists -- "while reserving the right to retaliate... in case of any aggression by the Turkish army."

It said that the ceasefire demand applied to Afrin and it was ready assist the entry of any humanitarian aid into the region.



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