Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REVISITED

After key battle, Syrian town of Kobane looks to the future

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'War is not an option,' says former FARC guerrilla leader

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Madagascar political crisis: top court orders formation of unity government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland's abortion referendum

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Weinstein in court; Ireland abortion vote; Italy's populist takeover

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Sugar and spice: The flavours of the French Caribbean

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

The French are so rude! Or are they?

Read more

ENCORE!

The writing's on the wall: Revolutionary posters from May 68

Read more

REPORTERS

'We heard there might be a civil war': May 68 seen from abroad

Read more

Middle East

Turkey’s Erdogan pledges to uproot ‘terror nests’ in Kurd-controlled Syrian towns

© Adem Altan, AFP | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the Culture and Art Awards Ceremony at the Presidential Complex in Ankara on December 21, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-01-16

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday vowed Turkey would soon begin an operation against towns in Syria controlled by Kurdish militia, calling the areas “nests” of terror.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia controls key Syrian northern towns including Manbij and Afrin and is an ally of the US but Ankara accuses the group of being a terror organisation.

“Tomorrow, (or) the day after, (or) within a short period, we will get rid of terror nests one-by-one in Syria starting with Afrin and Manbij” in northern Syria, Erdogan promised in his weekly televised speech to his faction in parliament.

Turkey, which from August 2016 to March 2017 waged its Euphrates Shield cross-border operation in Syria, has repeatedly threatened a new operation against the YPG.

But Erdogan has stepped up the warnings in recent days as Turkish media said dozens of military vehicles were being deployed to the border area.

Erdogan told reporters after that the Afrin operation would be undertaken “together” with Syrian opposition fighters, like the Euphrates Shield action against the YPG and the Islamic State extremist group.

Turkey says the YPG is a branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

But the issue has caused tension with the United States, which has handed weaponry to the YPG as a key player on the ground in the fight against IS.

‘Hey NATO!’

The US-led coalition fighting IS said at the weekend that it was working to create a 30,000-strong border security force in northern Syria.

Ankara immediately objected to such a move fearing the new force would be comprised of the YPG. Erdogan on Monday said Turkey had to “nip this terror army in the bud”.

The Turkish president called on NATO, of which Turkey has been a member since 1952, to take a stand against attacks on Turkey.

“Hey NATO! You are obliged to take a stand with your partners in the event of any border aggression,” Erdogan thundered. “Until now, what position have you taken?”

Turkish Chief of Staff General General Hulusi Akar is in Brussels until Wednesday for meetings with his NATO counterparts including US military’s top figure General Joseph Dunford.

Akar was quoted as saying by state-run Anadolu news agency that Turkey “would not and will not allow an extension of the PKK to be given support and armed under the guise of ‘operational partner’.”

Despite friction between the NATO allies, Erdogan said he was “not considering making a call” to US President Donald Trump, according to Turkish media.

(AFP)

Date created : 2018-01-16

  • SYRIA

    Erdogan threatens to 'strangle' new US-backed Syria force

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    US helps build new Syrian border force, angering Turkey

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Video: Turkish troops begin operation in Idlib province in Syria

    Read more

COMMENT(S)