Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that his government will address its security concerns in northern Syria with a new cross-border operation.
Erdogan made the announcement in an address to his party members in the capital Ankara, noting the new operation will make up for the “shortcomings” of the security line on its southern borders.
The Turkish military “destroyed the terror corridor” that Syria’s Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has aimed to build, he said, referring to Turkey’s four previous operations in northern Syria along the Turkish border.
The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria.
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Turkish authorities say the operations aim to eliminate terror threats and provide a safe zone that will facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.
On Wednesday, Erdogan said Turkey’s planned new military operation in Syria will target the YPG in Tell Rifaat and Manbij areas near the northern city of Aleppo before gradually extending to other parts of the neighboring country.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, has been rebelling against the Turkish government for more than three decades. Ankara sees the YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK