Turkey continues its military operation in northern Syria, and Erdogan confirms the completion of the security strip on the southern borders
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that his country will inevitably complete the security strip it is building on its southern borders, while the Turkish forces continued to bomb sites under the control of what is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Erdogan said, “We will definitely complete the 30-kilometer-deep security strip,” in a speech he delivered – today, Saturday – during his participation in the opening ceremony of a group of development projects in the state of Sanliurfa (south).
He pointed out that the attacks, which he described as terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), would not be able to dissuade Turkey from achieving this goal.
Erdogan explained that the PKK, which is “sponsored by parties outside the borders, targets Turkey at every opportunity and kills its citizens without discrimination between children and women,” stressing that the failure to punish terrorist organizations for the economic and social losses they caused 40 years ago encouraged them to reappear. .
Meanwhile, the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced today, Saturday, the killing of two members of the Kurdistan Party and the People’s Protection Units, in northern Syria.
The ministry added that the two elements were preparing to attack the Olive Branch and Peace Spring areas.
Don’t pose a threat to anyone
For his part, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the Turkish military operation in Syria does not pose a threat to anyone, stressing that his country’s forces will do what they need to do at the appropriate time and place.
“Our only goal is to protect the rights of our country and our people within the framework of the existing rules,” Akar said – during his participation in a party event on Friday.
“Therefore, we are preparing to do everything that needs to be done, and when the time and place come, the Turkish Armed Forces will do what they have to do, as they have done so far,” he added.
Akar called on the countries allied to Turkey to “severe their ties with terrorists, stop their support, and abandon them.” He added that the Turkish army had eliminated the “terrorist corridor” in northern Syria, and that Ankara would not allow the existence of such a corridor.
Earlier, the Turkish Minister of Defense said – after a meeting with former US envoy to Syria James Jeffrey in Ankara – that Turkey had warned its allied countries against supporting the PKK or the Democratic Union Party for any reason, including the pretext of fighting the Islamic State.
Akar added that the United States asked Turkey to re-evaluate the military operation, and that Ankara asked Washington, in return, to fulfill its promises, as he put it.
For his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday – on the sidelines of his participation in the “Mediterranean Dialogue” in the Italian capital, Rome – that his country needs to cleanse northern Syria of the PKK and the Democratic Union Party, as it did with ISIS, as he put it.
Cavusoglu said that “there is no difference between terrorist organizations in Syria,” stressing that they pose a major threat, and that his country has been greatly affected by what is happening in Syria.
On November 20, Turkey launched Operation “Claw-Sword” against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in northeastern Syria, after it was accused of masterminding the bombing that took place on Istiklal Street in Istanbul, which resulted in 6 deaths, which the Kurdish militants denied.
The Turkish forces launched air and artillery strikes on the positions of the Kurdish units in the countryside of the governorates of Aleppo, Hasakah and Raqqa, and vowed to expand their strikes to include a ground operation, which was opposed by the United States and Russia.
For his part, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told his Turkish counterpart – last Wednesday – that Washington “strongly opposes any new military operation in Syria.”
Austin also said that the Turkish strikes “directly threatened the safety of American soldiers working with local partners in Syria to defeat ISIS,” according to the Pentagon.
The international coalition resumes its patrols
In the context, Agence France-Presse said that the international coalition led by the United States has resumed its usual patrols in the areas controlled by the Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, after it was reduced due to the Turkish air strikes on the area.
The agency stated that two coalition patrols set off – yesterday morning, Friday – in two different directions from the Rumailan base (northeast of the country), accompanied by fighters from what is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, which mainly consist of Kurdish units.
A Kurdish military source told the agency, “A new weekly program has been established to resume work normally,” noting that the patrols had decreased from 20 patrols per week to about 5 or 6 patrols due to the Turkish strikes.