Türkiye to establish a security belt in N Syria: Erdoğan

Türkiye to establish a security belt in N Syria: Erdoğan

Türkiye to establish a security belt in N Syria: Erdoğan

Türkiye is more determined than ever to establish a security belt along its Syrian border against attacks by the YPG group, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 23, vowing to launch a ground operation in northern Syria “at the most convenient time.”

“Our determination to secure all our southern border, from Hatay to Hakkari, with a security strip is stronger today than ever before. We have already formed part of this strip with cross-border operations,” Erdoğan said addressing his lawmakers in parliament.

“We will take care of the rest step by step, starting with Tal Rifat, Manbij and Ayn al-Arab,” he said.

Turkish military carried out an aerial military campaign, dubbed Operation Claw-Sword, on Nov. 20 over northern regions of Syria and Iraq against YPG and PKK targets. Erdoğan has been vowing to proceed the operation with a ground incursion since his statement on Nov. 21.

Türkiye’s operation in northern regions of Syria and Iraq which continued with “aircraft, artillery, and UCAVs [unmanned combat aerial vehicles]” was “just the beginning,” he emphasized.

“While we continue our air operations without interruption, we will come down hard on top the terrorists with a land operation at the most convenient time… The day is near when those concrete tunnels which the terrorists use for safety will become their graves,” Erdoğan said.

Those who gave assurances that Türkiye will face no threat from areas in Syria under their control have failed to keep their promises, the president stated. If Türkiye’s interlocutors cannot fulfill the requirements of the agreement, Ankara has the right to take care of itself, he added.

The Iraqi and Syrian administrations should not be uneasy by the Turkish operations he said and added, “The steps we take will also secure the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria.”

Erdoğan recalled the Nov. 13 Istanbul attack and said, “Türkiye has now the strength and capability to identify, catch and punish the terrorists involved in attacks against our country and nation, and all who aid and abet them inside or outside our borders.”

Underscoring that the attacks were recently intensified both inside Türkiye and along the border line and they were related to the “plots laid by the terrorist organization and those who unleashed the terrorist organization” on Türkiye against the country’s future.

“The intention of those who pull the strings of the terrorist organization, as well as of the groups that follow a similar direction to it, is evident. That our country marches towards its goals in security and stability annoys them. That our country freely takes its own political and economic decisions annoys them. That our country transforms global crises into an opportunity annoys them. That Türkiye consolidates its regional leadership annoys them,” he added.

To clear the region off PKK/YPG and ISIL, Türkiye conducted cross-border operations in northern Syria: Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019 and Operation Spring Shield in 2020.

Meeting with Assad possible: Erdoğan
Meeting with Assad possible: Erdoğan

Erdogan, Diplomacy, Turkey,