Operation in Syria’s Manbij to start at right time: Turkish Minister
Turkey’s counter-terrorist operation in Syria’s Manbij will start at the right time, the national defense minister has said.
“The current Syrian problem areas are Manbij and east of the Euphrates; our plans, preparations and logistics are completed.
“The operations in Manbij and east of the Euphrates will start when the right time comes,” Akar said in the southern border province of Hatay on Jan. 20, marking the first anniversary of the start of Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch.
Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Gen. Yaşar Güler and other commanders accompanied Akar on a visit to a commando team involved in the counter-terrorist operation.
“We have no problems with our Kurdish brothers or Arab brothers in Syria and Iraq. Our only targets are the terrorist ISIL and PKK/YPG,” added Akar.
“We will never allow a terrorist state or terror corridor at our southern border. We will continue to fight with terrorists until they all neutralized,” he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also spoke with Akar and the commando team in a video call.
Erdoğan stressed that Turkey’s fight against terrorism will continue without hesitation in Syria’s Afrin, Jarabulus, and Al-Bab regions.
A mission east of the Euphrates River would follow two cross-border Turkish operations into Syria since 2016 - Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch - both meant to eradicate the presence of YPG and ISIL militants near Turkey’s borders.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. Ankara also considers the YPG as a terrorist organization for its links to the PKK.