Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said his country’s army and police on the Syrian border are ready to launch a new military operation in the north of the country.
“The Turkish armed forces are ready for any tasks [in northern Syria],” Akar said, pointing out that the decision to launch the operation depends on several factors, including preparations for the operation, topography and weather conditions,” adding that the final decision is taken on the political level.
Akar also said the Turkish army is continuing its operations against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“This struggle will continue to the fullest extent until the last terrorist is neutralised,” he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that Ankara will complete the 30-kilometre-deep security belt along the country’s border with Syria, “as soon as possible”.
“Soon Turkiye will start taking steps related to the rest of the work that we have started to establish safe areas at a depth of 30 kilometres, along our southern border with Syria,” Erdogan said, adding that his country is preparing to launch a military operation in Syria against “terrorist organisations” as soon as the Turkish intelligence and security forces finish their preparations.
Since 2016, Turkiye has initiated counter-terrorism operations across its border in northern Syria in an effort to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents – namely, Euphrates Shield in 2016, Olive Branch in 2018 and Peace Spring in 2019, it said.
READ: Erdogan’s vowed military operation returns spotlight to Syrian border towns