Erdogan Threatens New Syria Incursion 05/24 06:16
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened
Monday to launch a new military operation in Syria to secure Turkey's southern
Speaking following a Cabinet meeting, Erdogan said the aim of the operation
would be resume Turkish efforts to create a 30-kilometer (20 mile) safe zone
along its border with Syria.
"We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the
project we started on the 30-km deep safe zone we established along our
southern border," Erdogan said.
Erdogan did not provide further details but said the operation would begin
after Turkey's military, intelligence and security forces complete their
Turkish forces have launched three major incursions into northern Syria,
taking control of areas along the border in a bid to secure its frontier from
threats from the Islamic State group and Kurdish militia group, the People's
Protection Units, or YPG.
Turkey views the group as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers'
Party, or PKK which is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the United States
and the European Union. The PKK has waged an insurgency against Turkey since
1984. Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.
Erdogan's comments come at a time when Turkey is objecting to Sweden and
Finland's membership in the NATO alliance, citing the two countries alleged
support for the PKK and other groups that Turkey views as terrorists, as well
as their decision to impose restrictions on military sales to Turkey following
Ankara's incursion into Syria in 2019.