Turkey to address security concerns on Syria border: Erdoğan
“We will address security concerns with new operations,” the president said, addressing his ruling Justice and Development Party’s 30th Consultation and Assessment meeting.
The president noted that Turkey has enabled over 500,000 Syrian refugees to return to the safe zones created since the beginning of Turkish cross-border operations against the deepening humanitarian tragedy in Syria.
The government has taken steps to place the Turkish Armed Forces, which was “cleared of FETÖ,” among the most modern armies in the world in every area from personnel recruitment and training to armament, he stated.
Turkey has thus obliterated the “terror corridor sought to be formed along” the country’s southern borders thanks to the Operations Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, Peace Spring and Spring Shield in Syria, as well as the Operation Claw-Lock into Iraq, he added.
“We meticulously carry out the works that both address the shortcomings in the security line along our southern borders and prepare all our forces, including the navy, army and land forces, for new operations,” he explained.
Turkey will launch a new anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria in a bid to clear Tal Rifaat and Manbij provinces of the YPG, Erdoğan earlier said, describing the new offensive as a new stage in Turkey’s efforts to create a 30-kilometer deep security zone in the Syrian territories.
Turkey had already conducted four military operations in northeastern Syria, first against the presence of ISIL and then against the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. Turkey’s latest operation took place in late 2019 and created a safe zone in an area between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn as a result of two memorandums of understanding with the United States and Russia.
Citing Ankara’s objection to Finland’s and Sweden’s bid to NATO, President Erdoğan pointed to Turkey’s “principled stance” on the alliance’s enlargement and underscored that NATO is not an organization to “provide security to terror.”
“No one should expect us to make the same mistake for a second time while at the moment terrorist organizations roam freely in Sweden and Finland, while the terrorist ringleader’s posters are brandished in hands and while this is done under the protection of the Swedish, Finnish, German, French and Dutch police, while all these campaigns are conducted against Turkey, and while our neighbor Greece allows the establishment of five plus four, that is nine more U.S. bases, and while yet again in Greece terrorist organizations roam freely,” he stated.