Turkey warns of cross-border operation into eastern Syria
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president has renewed a pledge for a cross-border military operation into northeastern Syria.
In a speech Sunday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “We’ve entered Afrin, Jarablus, al-Bab. Now we will enter the east of the Euphrates.”
Talks between U.S. and Turkish officials have stalled over creating a safe zone in Syria east of the Euphrates River. The aim is to address Turkey’s security concerns about Syrian Kurdish militias in the region.
Turkey views these Kurdish militias — who battled the Islamic State group alongside U.S. forces — as terrorists, allied with a Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey.
Erdogan added: “We have shared this with the U.S. and Russia.”
Turkey conducted two operations into northern Syria in 2016 and 2018 to clear the areas of IS extremists and U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militias.