Erdogan says operation against Kurds to begin within days

Area east of Euphrates under US control

12 December, 16:14

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, DECEMBER 12 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday that "in a few days" Turkey will launch a new military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish YPG "terrorist" militants east of the Euphrates River.

    Erdogan made the announcement while speaking at a meeting of the Turkish defence industry in Ankara.

    The area indicated is under the control of the US, which supports the Kurds in the fight against ISIS.

    "It's time to put into being our decision to kick terrorist groups out from east of the Euphrates," Erdogan said.

    Turkey has already completed two military operations in northern Syria since 2016.

    However, given the US presence in the current target, it remains to be seen how Turkey intends to carry out this mission.

    "Turkey's objective has never been American soldiers in an operation east of the Euphrates, but members of terrorist groups," Erdogan said.

    In recent hours, the Pentagon announced the completion of observation posts at the Syrian border to impede the exchange of fire between the Turkish military and Kurdish militants, so as to not distract them from the fight against ISIS at the border between Syria and Iraq. According to Erdogan, however, their goal is "not to protect our country from terrorists but to protect terrorists from Turkey" because "there's no longer a Daesh (ISIS) threat in Syria".

    Moreover, the US and Turkey are currently engaged in establishing a road map for the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from Manbij, a strategic location west of the Euphrates.(ANSAmed).

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