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Turkey aims to form safe zones in Syria for refugees to return

Turkey aims to form safe zones in Syria for refugees to return
FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas -
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UMIT BEKTAS(Reuters)
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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is aiming to form safe zones in northern Syria so that around 4 million of Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey could return, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.

Speaking in Istanbul, Erdogan also said nearly 300,000 Syrians had already returned and that he expected millions of Syrian nationals would return to the safe areas.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced in December the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Syria and Erdogan subsequently said they had discussed setting up a 20-mile-deep safe zone in Syria along the border.

(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Alison Williams)

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