FILE PHOTO- Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during their meeting in Ankara, Turkey September 16, 2019. Pavel Golovkin-Pool via REUTERS-File Photo

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Ankara would take its next “necessary” steps in relation to its temporarily halted military operation in northeastern Syria after his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Oct. 22.

On Thursday, the U.S. and Turkey agreed to place Ankara’s recently launched controversial Operation Peace Spring in north Syria on hold for 120 hours, during which time the U.S. would withdraw the People’s Protection Units’ forces from the area.

“Most of those 120 hours have passed. Tomorrow, I will travel to Russia’s (southern) city of Sochi.

“We will discuss the situation with Putin and after that conversation, (Turkey) will take the next necessary steps,” Erdogan said in Istanbul, without specifying what the steps would be.

Earlier on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara would resume its offensive in Syria if Kurdish forces, seen as terrorists by Turkey, did not withdraw from the border safe zone within 35 hours.

On Oct. 9, Erdogan announced the launch of Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria.

The offensive is part of Ankara’s goal to clear its border with Syria from terrorists and Kurdish militia, which for Ankara are interchangeable, and create a safe zone where Turkey can relocate part of some 3.6 million Syrian refugees it currently hosts.

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