According to the Turkish foreign minister, the country’s forces will move further in the Syrian territory to create a “de facto safe zone.”
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish army will move further south in the Syrian territory to create a “de facto safe zone” of 5,000 square kilometers in the Manbij region, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
“First we should go down at least 45 kilometers [30 miles] to close the Manbij pocket. And this area can be a de facto safe zone. It is around 5,000 square kilometers,” Cavusoglu told France 24 broadcaster in an interview. On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area of Daesh jihadist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries worldwide. Syria has been mired in civil war since March 2011, with government forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad fighting numerous opposition factions and extremist groups.