Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that nobody will be able to prevent Ankara from destroying terrorists east of the Euphrates River, Syria.
“We neutralized more than 4,000 Daesh terrorists in [Operation] Euphrates Shield. Nobody could prevent the Afrin operation; similarly, nobody will be able to prevent us from destroying these terrorists and clearing them from east of the Euphrates,” Cavusoglu said in a joint news conference with his Libyan counterpart Mohamed Taher Siala.
The two top diplomats held a meeting in the Libyan capital Tripoli, where they discussed all aspects of Turkish-Libyan bilateral relations exchanged views on recent regional and international developments.
Replying to a question regarding Turkey's position on Friday's meeting of the YPG/PKK terror group members and French officials in Paris, Cavusoglu said no country will able to stop Turkey after the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, adding that Washington had 'supported and strengthened' the terror group.
He likened those politicians who opposed Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northeastern town of Afrin to “sympathizers” of YPG/PKK.
A mission east of the Euphrates, which Turkey’s leadership has been suggesting for months, would follow two successful cross-border Turkish operations into Syria since 2016 -- Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch -- to eradicate the presence of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists near Turkey’s borders.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.
By Ahmet Salih Alacaci