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Turkey 'determined' to fight terror elements in Syria

Defense minister says Turkey showed it would never allow terror corridors along its borders

Nilay Kar   | 12.12.2018
Turkey 'determined' to fight terror elements in Syria

By Sarp Ozer

ANKARA

Turkey's determination in the fight against terror continues in Syria's Idlib, Manbij and east of Euphrates in the same manner, the defense minister said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Turkish Defense Industry Summit in the capital Ankara, Hulusi Akar said Turkish Armed Forces' fight against terror organizations such as PKK/KCK/YPG and Daesh have been simultaneously continuing inside the country and abroad with a “big determination”.

Akar recalled that the Turkish Armed Forces neutralized over 3,000 radical Daesh terrorists during the Operation Euphrates Shield along its Syria borders and around 5,000 PKK/YPG terrorists during the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northwestern Syria.

“Thus, we showed that we would never allow terror corridors wanted to be established along our borders,” he added.

Operation Euphrates Shield began in August, 2016 and ended in late March, 2017 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat in the northern Syrian regions of Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Al-Bab, and Azaz.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to free Afrin of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists. On March 18, Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army liberated the Afrin district center.

Turkish and U.S. troops began joint patrols in Syria's northwestern Manbij on Nov. 1 as part of an agreement that focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a terrorist group recognized by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU which in its 30-year terror campaign has taken some 40,000 lives.

The U.S. has claimed the YPG/PKK is an “ally” in the fight against Daesh over Turkey’s objections that one cannot use a terrorist group to fight another.

Turkey has repeatedly cited evidence that the YPG is no different from the PKK.

During his speech, Akar also said Turkey has been monitoring closely what has been happening in 462,000-square kilometers (11,416.269 acres) territorial seas in the Aegean, Mediterranean, and the Black Sea.

“The historic rights and benefits of our country and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are protected with determination in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean. We will never allow any steps and fait accompli to be taken despite of Turkey in our blue motherland,” he noted.

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