Erdogan tells Putin Syria offensive will bring 'peace'

Erdogan tells Putin Syria offensive will bring 'peace'

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (AP/PTI)

Turkey's planned military offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria will help bring "peace and stability", President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

The statement comes amid international concern over the potential for the operation to further destabilise the region.

"During the call, the president said that the planned military operation to the east of the Euphrates will contribute to Syria's peace and stability and ease the path to a political solution," a presidency spokesman said in a statement.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking from Algeria, said Turkey would soon "inform the UN and relevant countries, including Syria" about the operation.

"This operation will be an important operation for the stability and security of the region," Cavusoglu told reporters in Algeria.

"It will render possible the voluntary return of refugees that have settled in Turkey and in the region. Our only targets are the terrorists there and, thus, we will greatly contribute to Syria's territorial integrity."

Turkish troops, including proxy Syrian fighters, have been gathering along the border for assaults on Kurdish positions in northeastern Syria.

It follows the withdrawal of US special forces that had acted as an effective barrier against a long-planned Turkish offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters, seen by Ankara as a "terrorist" off-shoot of Kurdish insurgents inside Turkey.

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