Turkish commander in charge of Syria operations assigned to new post
A Turkish general who was in charge of commanding operations inside Syrian territories has been appointed to a new post at the Turkish General Staff Headquarters, according to a presidential decree.
General İsmail Metin Temel, commander of the 2nd Army, was assigned as the chair of the Inspection and Evaluation Division of the Turkish General Staff, said the decree published on the Official Gazette on Dec. 31.
Meanwhile, the 4th Commando Brigade Commander Brigadier General Mustafa Barut was assigned as the chair of the Inspection and Evaluation Division of the 3rd Army.
Temel will move from the eastern province of Malatya to the capital Ankara, whereas Barut will move from the eastern province of Tunceli to the neighboring Erzincan province.
Temel has been known to the public as the commander of Turkey’s operations inside Syrian territories of Jarablus and Afrin in alliance with the Free Syrian Army.
Shortly after the coup attempt in July 15, 2016, he was assigned as the commander of the 2nd Army. His first mission was commanding the seven-month-long Operation Euphrates Shield which started at the end of August 2016 in the Jarablus region.
In the first three months of 2018, he also commanded Operation Olive Branch which was conducted to clear Syria’s Afrin district of the YPG.
Temel was blasted by the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce for applauding President - and a nominee - Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political speech at a meeting in Malatya ahead of the June 24 elections. İnce had vowed to dismiss Temel if he won the election.
Turkey has been preparing for a third cross-border in Syria in three years after Erdoğan vowed “to wipe out terror groups east of the Euphrates [river],” in a speech on Dec. 12.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced he’d pull out forces in Syria after Erdoğan’s remarks.