While a Syrian Kurdish faction warned of Turkey’s plans to settle one million Syrian refugees in the areas under its influence in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to support his country’s efforts to establish a “safe zone” on its southern border with Syria to accommodate refugees.
Yesterday (Wednesday), Erdogan told the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies, “Now the resettlement of people in safe areas inside Syria has begun. Most of the safe areas we talked about have been completed, and people have begun to live in them, and work in them has begun again,” referring to a plan To resettle one million Syrian refugees who are in Turkey in 13 residential communities inside the Syrian territory adjacent to the southern borders of his country, starting from Azaz in the west to Ras al-Ain in the east. “We have to address all allies in the region, as well as allies in NATO… So stand with Turkey in the face of these challenges and do not prevent it from moving forward in establishing this safe zone, completing it and ensuring prosperity in it,” he added.
Erdogan’s statement came yesterday, at a time when the General Secretariat of the “Kurdish National Council” in Syria announced a position opposing his plan to settle one million Syrian refugees in the areas of Turkish military operations in northern Syria, including the construction of 13 villages and residential communities in the towns of Al-Bab, Azaz and Afrin. And Jarablus in the northern and eastern countryside of Aleppo, the city of Idlib, and the town of Tal Abyad in the northern countryside of Raqqa.
The secretariat issued a statement from Qamishli (Al-Hasakah, eastern Syria) in which it expressed its position rejecting the operations of “demographic change” in any part of the Syrian geography and from any side.