Erdoğan warns of cross-border op into east of Euphrates
Turkey will launch a military operation in Syria’s terrorist PKK/YPG-occupied eastern Euphrates region, and it has informed both the U.S. and Russia of this coming operation, said the Turkish president on Aug. 4.
“We entered Afrin, Jarabulus, and Al-Bab [in northern Syria], and now we’re going to enter east of the Euphrates,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told an inauguration ceremony in Bursa, referring to other successful Turkish counter-terrorism campaigns in Syria since 2016, Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch.
“We shared this [information] with the U.S. and Russia,” he added.
For months Turkish leaders have said an Eastern Euphrates campaign is coming, due to the continued presence of PKK/YPG terrorists in the region, near the Turkish border, and the security threat they pose.
In talks with the U.S., Turkey has also pushed the idea of a safe zone in the region, but the countries have yet to reach common ground yet.
The presence of the PKK/YPG has been a traditional sticking point for the countries, as the U.S. has supported the terrorist group in fighting Daesh, while Turkey says using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.
There has also been disagreement among the two over the size of the safe zone.
Designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, the PKK terror group has waged a terror campaign in Turkey for over three decades. It is responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people in Turkey, including women, children, and infants. Its Syrian terrorist offshoots are known as the PKK/YPG or PKK/PYD.
Turkey has slammed the U.S. for dispatching thousands of trucks carrying military equipment and weapons to the terrorist YPG/PYD.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.
'People's Alliance to maintain collaboration'
Erdoğan also said ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) would continue to collaborate in the coming period.
“We [AKP] continue to collaborate with MHP on issues regarding our country’s survival and future,” he said.
Erdoğan said the People’s Alliance, with its success at local polls of March 31, ensured the country’s bright future and brought hope to the country, therefore the alliance would continue.
Turkish leader expressed gratitude for MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli and party’s members for their "contribution to the country’s democracy."
Stressing that Turkey had no elections in the next four years, Erdoğan said the government would make the most out of this period to do service for citizens.
The ruling Justice and Development AKP and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) formed the People's Alliance ahead of the June 24, 2018 general elections.