President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced Turkey’s plans to launch an operation, targeting the east of the Euphrates river in Syria in order to “liberate it” from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD)
Erdogan made the announcement at the two-day Turkish Defense Summit in Ankara and he said it would take place in a few days.
“It is time to realize our decision to wipe out terror groups in the east of Euphrates”
“Turkey’s target has never been U.S. soldiers with the operation in the east of the Euphrates, but rather members of terror group. We are determined to make that region livable and peaceful. This step will allow for the path to a political solution to be opened and for healthier cooperation,” he added.
Ankara and Washington have long been at odds over Syria policy, where the United States has backed the YPG.
Erdogan said delaying tactics continue to be applied in Manbij, referring to the agreement between Turkey and the U.S. that focuses on the withdrawal of PKK/YPG terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.
“Although approximately 80-85 percent of Manbij belongs to Arabs, there are still terrorist groups there,” he added.
Ankara has recently repeatedly voiced frustration about what it says are delays in the implementation of a deal with the United States to clear the YPG from the town of Manbij, just west of the Euphrates.