Erdogan: Turkey Will Continue Operations in Northern Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday (January 9) the country’s military will continue its operations in Afrin and Manbij regions in northern Syria.
Erdogan made the comments during a parliamentary address to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Reuters reported.
Turkey launched the Euphrates Shield operation on its Syrian border in 2016 to destroy what it called a “corridor of terror”, made up by the dual threat of Islamic State and Kurdish fighters in Syria.
Ankara views the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1974. Relations between PKK and the country have also included successful periods of peace agreements, though tensions are high now.
Turkish troops have repeatedly clashed with the YPG and their allies in Syria since the war against the Assad regime began.
Turkish military launched more than 576 attacks against Afrin canton in Rojava [Kurdish controlled areas in northern Syria] in 2017, according to Hawar News Agency.
The agency said dozens of civilians were killed and dozens of others were wounded due to the attacks of the Turkish army against Afrin canton this year.