Erdogan Relocates 1 Million Refugees to the "Safe Zone"

World | December 10, 2019, Tuesday // 18:53|  views

Recep Erdogan has announced Ankara's plans for territories in northern Syria, which the Turkish army controls after the offensive south of the border.

"We will fund the resettlement of refugees," Erdogan said on state television, commenting on an option that other countries did not want to include in the plan.

No specific dates for the implementation of the intention have been announced.

Turkey launched a military offensive against Kurdish units in northern Syria, using its troops and Ankara-backed rebels. As a result, a territory of about 120 to 30 kilometers was put under Turkish control.

Turkey had previously said it could settle up to 2 million Syrian refugees in a 444-km (275-mile)-long “safe zone” it aimed to form in northeastern Syria, and repeatedly urged NATO allies to provide financial aid for the plans, Reuters reported.

But after signing separate deals with the US and Russia to stop the offensive, Turkey controls significantly less than the planned  440 kilometers "safe zone".

At the NATO summit in London, Recep Erdogan tried to persuade the leaders of France, Germany and the UK to support his plan to relocate the Syrians.

He said that "a NATO country has promised support" without specifying which one, and had earlier announced that Qatar would also assist.

The European Union and NATO have criticized Erdogan's plan and Turkey's military offensive, which they said might hinder the fight against Islamic State in Syria. Turkey has dismissed the concerns.

Turkey denies the allegations.

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Tags: EU, NATO, safe zone, refugees, Recep Erdogan


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