Turkey to apply its own plan if not allowed to control Syria safe-zone: Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 31 that Turkey will put its own operation plan into effect if Turkish troops do not control a "safe zone" in northeast Syria, which it has been planning with the United States, within a few weeks.
Turkey has no time and patience and it wants safe-zone to be built along eastern Euphrates line, along Syria, as soon as possible," said Erdoğan in a speech at a graduation ceremony at the National Defence University in Istanbul.
"If our soldiers do not control the region within a few weeks, we will put our own operation plan into effect," he said.
He did not specify what the operation plan would entail, but he has previously warned that Turkey would mount a cross-border offensive on its own to clear the YPG from its border if necessary.
'No intention to abandon NATO'
Turkey has no intention to abandon NATO membership and its allies, Erdoğan also underlined.
YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK. PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Turkey and the United States have set up a joint operation centre for the planned safe zone along Syria's northeastern border, but have been at odds over the size of the zone or the command structure of the forces to operate there.