Turkey hints cross border ops in Syria, cites counter terrorism

New Delhi:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that they will soon be launching a new military operation along its southern borders and will be carrying out fight against terror outfits in Northern Syria. 

The United States warned Turkey against launching any such operation on Tuesday in the Syrian territory. Owing to the fact this step will ringfence the US troops and compel them to act as a NATO ally. 

Turkish President said that the military operation will concede when a “security zone” of 30-kilometer along the border is secured by the Turkish forces. The televised statement was broadcasted after the Cabinet meeting in Ankara. 

Erdogan said, “We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30-kilometer-deep safe zone we established along our southern border.”

He further said, “The main target of these operations will be areas that will be our centers of attacks to our country and safe zones.”

Turkey has launched three successful counterterrorism operations across the border in northern Syria namely, Euphrates Shield in 2016, Olive Branch in 2018, and Peace Spring in 2019.

Turkey, US, EU vs PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) 

In a campaign against Turkey that ran over 40 years, the PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party) which has been recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union- has been considered responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. 

One of the reasons behind Turkey’s objection to Sweden and Finland’s membership in the NATO alliance is that they recognize and allegedly support the PKK and other terrorist groups. They have also imposed restrictions on military sales to Turkey following the 2019 military operation by the Turks in Ankara.

Turkey’s top security council MGK said on Thursday that the current operations along its southern borders are not being carried out with the aim of rupturing the territorial integrity of its neighbors. The statement also pointed incidents of clashes with PKK terrorists.

“Current and future military operations being conducted on Turkey’s southern borders do not target the territorial integrity of its neighbors, but stem from national security needs and will contribute to their security as well,” the National Security Council (MKG) said in a statement. 

President Erdogan chaired a three-hour meeting which was attended by relevant ministers and commanders. The meeting focused on the operations and investigations that might be carried out against the terrorists’ groups like the PKK/YPG, The Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) and Daesh.


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