World Bulletin / News Desk
There have not been any violations so far that could "undermine" the cease-fire in Syria, Turkey's Defense Minister said Saturday.
Minister Fikri Isik's remarks came during his visit to Turkey's southeastern province of Sirnak, where he answered journalists' questions.
When asked about the recent developments regarding the ongoing country-wide cease-fire in Syria, Minister Isik said that there have not been any violations so far that could "undermine" the cease-fire.
"We have to be very careful about the issue," Isik said. "We are watching every step along the way with the Russian Federation to make the cease-fire permanent and have political solution pave the way for Syria's future."
Isik also touched on the Russian air strikes against ISIL terrorists in northern Syria. It is "an important development," he said, referring to the Russian attack that was carried out last Thursday against positions of ISIL in al-Bab district.
A nationwide cease-fire in Syria took effect at midnight (2200GMT) Dec. 30, after a deal was brokered with Turkey, Russia and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Within the scope of the cease-fire, warring parties pledged to stop armed attacks, from land or air, and not to expand territories against each other.
Launched on August 24, Operation Euphrates Shield aims to clear northern Syria off terrorist organizations, including ISIL, and to ensure the security of the southern border of Turkey.
The minister has spent the night in 23rd Gendarmerie Border Division Command post in Sirnak with soldiers.
Also asked about terrorist organization PKK, Minister Isik said the organization was at a "point of failure."
"Around 10,000 PKK terrorists have been neutralized so far in operations against the terror organization," said Isik. "The group is at a point of failure."
Since 20 July 2015, PKK attacks have left 793 security personnel martyred and 314 civilians, including women and children, dead. Over 4,000 security personnel and over 2,000 civilians have been injured.
In anti-terror operations since July 2015, around 10,000 PKK terrorists have been killed or apprehended. Around 5,500 weapons, 652,000 rounds of ammunition, over 142 tons of explosives and 15,000 bombs have been seized.