UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — “Today or tomorrow,” Ankara may decide to launch a new military operation in the air as well as on land on the eastern bank of the Euphrates in northern Syria, said the Turkish President.
Turkish Head of State Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday (October 5th) Turkey’s intention to launch a military operation on the eastern bank of the Euphrates in Syria.
“We made our preparations, made our plans of action, gave the necessary instructions,” said Erdogan. “Maybe today or tomorrow we will make such a decision, we will conduct this operation both on land and in the air.”
He added that the purpose of the operation would be to clear the Syrian territory next to Turkey from the People’s Protection Units, to create a buffer zone and to settle Syrian refugees in Turkey.
According to Erdogan, the United States , which provides military support to the People’s Protection Units, must indicate whether they will recognize them as a terrorist organization.
Turkey says it is ready to act alone in Syria
Ankara and Washington agreed in August on the creation of a security zone in northern Syria. However, many questions remain about its contours and the use that will be made of it, which divides countries.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hammered in recent weeks that if the security zone was not put in place before the end of September, Turkey would take matters into their own hands , even if it means launching a military operation in northeastern Syria.
With more than 3.6 million refugees, Turkey welcomes more Syrians displaced by the conflict than any other country in the world, and fears a new influx.
In recent months, Turkish authorities have been accused by NGOs of forcibly returning hundreds of refugees to Syria, but Ankara reports voluntary returns.
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