Turkey’s President Erdogan pledges to expand the Syria incursion

Ankara: Turkey is determined to go ahead with a planned military incursion against the Kurdish militia in northern Syria, despite opposition from other countries, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

“I once again declare to the whole world that our struggle will not end until we secure our southern borders with a 30-kilometer-deep corridor,” Erdogan said at an event on Thursday.

Turkey already occupies swathes of land along its border in northern Syria.

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Erdogan had in April warned of a new offensive to drive the US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia, the People’s Defence Units (YPG), further south.

Turkey considers the YPG to be “terrorists” and a national security threat, linked to insurgents at home and often targets the group.

Russia and Iran, which back the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against Turkey-backed rebels, had previously advised Ankara against an incursion.

The US had separately warned that a new Turkish offensive could distract from the fight against the Islamic State terror group.

“We are aware of the hypocrisy of those who launch operations whenever they want and point their fingers at us,” Erdogan said, without mentioning any country.

“We will continue these operations according to our own plans and based on our country’s security priorities. As we always say, we may come suddenly one night,” the President added.

(Except for the headline, the story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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