Turkish defense chief inspects troops on Syria border

Turkish defense chief inspects troops on Syria border

Turkish defense chief inspects troops on Syria border

Turkey's national defense minister on July 18 began an inspection of troops deployed along the country's border with Syria.       

Hulusi Akar was accompanied by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and his lieutenants: Land Forces Commander Ümit Dündar, Naval Forces Commander Adnan Özbal, and Air Forces Commander Hasan Küçükakyüz.         

The military delegation met the commanders of troops stationed along the border and was briefed about recent activities there.       

Since 2016, Turkey has conducted two major military operations in northwestern Syria - Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch- to purge the region of terrorist groups, most notably the PKK/YPG, the Syrian branch of the illegal PKK.       

Last Friday, Akar told acting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper: “The only military force that is ready, competent and appropriate for the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria is the Turkish Armed Forces.”       

In a phone conversation, Akar reiterated that for Turkey, protecting its borders and people is the priority, and in the face of intensive attacks from the Syrian border, Turkey must take necessary measures to block terrorist groups from seeking safe havens right across the frontier.