ISTANBUL, Oct 19 (KUNA) -- Turkey's military will continue to tackle fighters in northeast Syria if Kurds, located within a 30km radius from the Turkish borders, do not withdraw as per the agreement with the US, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Saturday.
The deal, struck during a visit by US Vice President Mike Pence to Ankara on Thursday, gave YPG forces - a group consisting Syrian Kurdish fighters - 120 hours (five days) to abandon their posts.
As for Russian-backed Syrian government forces, which have also been deployed within the same perimeters, Erdogan said he would be discussing a "solution" with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
"If a solution is reached with Russia then be it, otherwise, we will continue to carry out our plans," he added.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar reiterated the threat, saying his country would resume its operation if the fighters were found not to be pulling out of the area.
"Turkey has long ensured it is adamant in its plans to remove terrorist threats it faces at its southern borders," he underlined.
The operation's objectives are to put an end to "terrorist" elements, like the so-called Islamic State, and the Kurdish YPG and PKK groups, positioned east of the Euphrates, he said.
It also aims to ensure the safety of Turkey's borders and to form a "safe zone," to which Syrian refugees may return home, he added. (end)