Terror clearance operation to continue in Syria’s Afrin, Erdoğan says
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Jan. 14 that clearing off terrorism will continue in the coming days with an operation into Syria’s Afrin, as Turkish military hit the People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions in norther Syria.
“Keep watching us. Any slightest harassment on our borders will be seen as a signal flare of the steps to be taken,” Erdoğan said during a speech at a provincial congress meeting of the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) in the Central Anatolian province of Tokat.
Turkey is determined to fight against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists across its borders, as well as inside the country, the president said.
Erdoğan reiterated his famous saying “We can come overnight all of a sudden.”
The president once again slammed the U.S. for supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) whose main components are YPG fighters that Ankara sees the YPG as the offshoot of the PKK in Syria.
“Do you fool us”, he said calling to the “west” for not cooperation with the terrorist organizations in a bid to fight another terrorist organization. He warned “western countries” that they should know such attitude is harming bilateral relations.
“Despite everything, we believe we have in common interests with America in the region, we hope to act together. Because it’s time to help Turkey, time to qualify strategic cooperation,” he noted.
Ankara expects “its friends to support Turkey’s legitimate efforts” and be in a position that “suits them in such a sensitive, critical issue” the president said referring to the Turkish government’s struggle against the PKK and its affiliations.
Video footage shows a group of five tanks loaded on trucks and driven on an unpaved road. A military source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media, said the tanks were sent as reinforcements to the Turkish border units.
Early on Jan. 14, a source in the region said the Turkish military hit several People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets in the Afrin district of Syria’s Aleppo province to prevent a “terror corridor” from forming along Turkey’s borders.
Erdoğan said on Jan. 13 that any venture in the region “has no chance of success” if Turkey has no consent in it, referring to the PYD’s efforts to settle in Syria’s northern regions along the Turkish border.