A peace corridor on the Turkish-Syria border can help resettle some 3 million Syrians from Turkey, Europe and other countries if it is extended to the Deir Ezzor-Raqqa line, President Erdogan told the UN General Assembly delegates.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 24, 2019.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 24, 2019. (AP)

Turkey continues in its efforts to cobble together a safe zone in northeastern Syria which could allow millions displaced to return to their home country.

Unhappy with the pace of the US –– its partner in recent efforts to operationalise a safe zone –– Turkish leaders attending the 74th session of the UN General Assembly argued the safe zone is essential for Syrians and for Turkey's security. 

In his speech at the UNGA in New York on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said establishing a "safe zone" in northern Syria will save millions of lives.

Turkey plans to resettle 1 million refugees in northern Syria and has warned that it may reopen the route for migrants into Europe if it does not receive adequate international support for the plan.

Erdogan said if the zone is extended to the Deir Ezzor-Raqqa line, the number would reach 3 million Syrians, including ones from Turkey, Europe, and other countries.

Turkey, which hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees, controls parts of northern Syria, where it says 350,000 Syrians have already returned.

NATO allies Turkey and the US have started joint land and air patrols along part of the border strip, but Ankara says Washington is moving too slowly to establish a sufficiently large safe zone to push YPG from the border. 

The safe zone is intended to create a buffer between Turkey and Syrian areas controlled by the YPG, which the US supported in the collective fight against Daesh in Syria.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organisation. 

In its 30-year terror campaign against the Turkish state more than 40,000 people, including women and children, have been killed.
Turkey, the US and the EU recognise the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

TRT World's Obaida Hitto has more. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies