Turkey will enter the area east of Euphrates River and has already notified the United States and Russia, President Recep TayyipErdoğan said Sunday.
“We entered Afrin, Jarablus, al-Bab. Now we will enter the (area) east of the Euphrates. We shared this (information) with Russia and the U.S. As long as harassment fire continues, we cannot remain silent,” Erdoğanstressed.
Ankara has been patient for some time, but that “patience has an end,” he added.
Turkish military has recently increased its deployment near the Syrian border, including heavy weaponry, armored vehicles and tanks, as it prepares for an imminent offensive against the PKK terror group’s Syrian branch the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Turkey has long been delaying a possible operation east of the Euphrates to end the presence of U.S.-backed YPG terrorists, which Ankara says pose a grave security threat due to their affiliation with the PKK that is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 in its nearly 40 years of terror against the state.
Monthslong talks between Turkey and the U.S. regarding a safe zone in northern Syria have failed to bear fruit. Foreign Minister MevlütÇavuşoğlu said if the planned safe zone is not established and threats to Turkey continue, an operation will be launched east of the Euphrates River to oust the YPG from the region.