Turkey to launch ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in Syria – Erdogan — Analysis
Ankara plans to “clear” Syrian cities of Tal Rifat and Manbij of “terrorists,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said
Turkey is intensifying its efforts for creating a 30 kilometer wide road. “security zone” alongside its southern border with Syria, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday.
Turkish Armed Forces will launch an “anti-terrorist”operation that will specifically target northern Syrian cities Tal Rifat and Manbij, he said to a meeting of his Justice and Development Party in Ankara.
He did not give a date for the start of the operation. He also did not reveal how many troops were expected to participate in the operation.
Turkey considers Kurdish militias in northern Syria to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – a militant organization engaged in a decades-long conflict with Turkey. The movement was initially founded to seek independence for Kurds. However, its main focus has shifted towards greater autonomy within Turkey for Kurds. Ankara regards it as a terrorist organization, along with the US, EU, and other countries like Canada, Australia, and
“We are going into the new phase of our determination to form a 30-kilometer-deep (20-miles) safe zone along our southern border. We will clear Tal Rifaat and Manbij of terrorists, and we will do the same to other regions step-by-step,”Erdogan spoke Wednesday.
Moscow and Washington have been accused of failing to honor their promises and enforcing the withdrawal of Kurdish militias in Syria bordering Turkey, according to the Turkish president. Ankara has launched an operation in response to these developments. “protect the nation”Remove any threat it regards as terrorist.
Erdogan made his initial announcement last week. He stated that Turkey was going to be the next host. “will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30-kilometer-deep safe zone we established along our southern border.”
Turkey sent troops to Iraq in mid-April. It targeted Kurdish militias from the north regions of Metina and Zap in Operation Claw-Lock. Baghdad condemned this operation, but was unable to take any action.
Ankara has conducted several military operations against the Kurds in northern Syria – in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Turkey currently controls portions of Syria’s Aleppo, Raqqa and Hasakah governorates, in addition to supporting militants in Idlib.
The Kurdish militias in Syria known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) had allied themselves with the US in their fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Just before the Turkish invasion, the US troops quickly withdrew their forces from the area in 2019. They evacuated the main cities of Raqqa, Manbij and were replaced by the Syrian Army and Russian military police.
Moscow and Damascus have not commented on these developments.
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