Russian media hails Turkey-US deal as Erdogan's victory

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian media hails on Friday Turkish-U.S. deal on Turkey's counter-terrorism operation in northern Syria as a victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan emerged as the winner from Turkey's confrontation with the U.S. following the crisis on Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria, Russian online news website Vzglyad said in an article titled 'Relations of the U.S. and Turkey Got the Chance for Salvation'.

Washington's threats of sanctions and attempts of pressure gave no result as Turkey successfully approached to the set goals, it said.

"Ankara, Washington and Kurds [YPG/PKK] speak of their success following the announcement of five-day suspension of the Operation Peace Spring," the daily Kommersant said in an article, Ankara and Washington Consider Themselves Winners.

– 'Agreement between Turkey, US on Syria positive'

The official Rossiyskaya Gazeta compiled the statements of top-Russian politicians.

It quoted Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said the Kremlin "is waiting to receive information from the Turkish counterparts".

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, praised the deal as "a positive development," it said.

"This [the deal] means that the U.S. recognized the right of Ankara to create such a zone," said Kosachev.

– 'Situation on ground in favor of Turkey'

"The U.S. pressured Ankara to let Kurds [YPG/PKK] escape with a whole skin," Ivan Starodubtsev, a Russian expert on Turkey, told the Defense Ministry broadcaster Zvezda TV.

Turkey's agreement with the U.S. can be considered as a failure for the YPG/PKK, considering that the situation in the field is in favor of Turkey, Aleksey Muhin, head of the Moscow-based Center for Political Information, told RT TV channel.

"The situation on the ground will most probably be in Turkey's favor," he said.

Russia's TASS news agency quoted Vladimir Fitin, the head of the Middle East Center of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, who said U.S.-Turkish agreement will not affect Russian position in Syria, as Erdogan notices that Washington's promises are not trustworthy, while it is possible to have a consistent cooperation with Moscow.

Turkey does not want the crisis with the U.S. to deepen, Irina Zvyagelskaya, a professor of the Department of Eastern Sciences at the Moscow State Diplomatic Institute, told RIA news agency.

"The agreement is not shaped in a direction that Turkey will completely stop the operation. Turkey is temporarily halting the operation," she added.

– Operation paused

Turkey on Thursday agreed to pause its Operation Peace Spring for 120 hours in order to allow the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the planned safe zone.

In talks on Thursday, Erdogan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also agreed on Turkey having 20 miles (32 miles) of safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday if the U.S. does not keep its promises after 120 hours, Turkey will resolutely continue its operation in northern Syria.

The safe zone issue will be solved if the U.S. keeps its promises until the end of 120-hour period on Tuesday night, Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the YPG/PKK.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

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