Erdogan signals Turkey is ready to launch new military operation in Syria

Ankara

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled that Turkey was preparing to launch a new military operation into Syria. Erdoan’s plan began after his troops were attacked by Kurdish insurgents who were backed by United States of America.

Erdogan’s comments follow a car bombing Monday in the northern Syrian city of Afrin, which killed six people. Including at least one Turkish-backed rebel fighter.

“We have no patience left in some areas that are the source of terror attacks aimed at our country from Syria,” Erdogan said after chairing a cabinet meeting attended by top ministers.

“We are determined to eliminate the threat emanating from Syria in our own way. We will take the necessary steps in Syria as soon as possible,” he added.

Turkey and its proxies have controlled territory inside Syria over several military operations launched since 2016 against the Islamic State group and the Kurdish YPG militia.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants who have waged a deadly insurgency against the Turkish state that has claimed tens of thousands of lives. But Washington has partnered with the YPG to fight ISIS in Syria, brushing off scathing criticism from Turkey.

The YPG remains a sore point in Erdogan’s uneasy relationship with US President Joe Biden. Turkish troops and their local proxies captured Afrin after pushing Syrian Kurdish forces out in March 2018.

The conflict in Syria has killed nearly 500,000 people since it began in 2011 with the brutal suppression of peaceful demonstrations.

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