Erdogan: Turkey plans to establish 12 posts in Syria ‘safe zone’

Turkey aims to establish 12 observation posts in a planned so-called safe zone in northern Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, adding Ankara would respond if the Syrian government "makes a mistake" in the region.

Ankara agreed with Washington on Thursday to pause its operation in northern Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia while it withdraws from the border region. Turkey wants to settle refugees in the area vacated by the YPG.

Speaking to foreign press, Erdogan said 2 million refugees can be settled in the "safe zone" if it includes the cities of Deir Al Zor and Raqqa. Turkey hosts 3.6 million refugees that have fled the eight-year war in Syria.

Erdogan added that Turkey will respond if the Syrian government, which has moved into some areas that YPG has already left, "makes a mistake." (Reporting by Orhan Coskun and Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)