Turkey to launch new operation in east of Euphrates River: Erdogan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks at a business conference in Budapest, Hungary, October 9, 2018. Reuters

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SULAIMANI — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday (October 12) that the country’s army would soon launch an operation east of Euphrates River, which is currently under the control of Syrian Kurdish groups.

"Hopefully very soon, we will root out terror nests also in east Euphrates with the support of commandos, who are pinned today with badges," Erdogan said at a military ceremony in central Isparta province.

Additionally, he alleged that the People’s Protection Units (YPG) has not left the northern Syrian town of Manbij, contrary to a US-Turkish agreement, and that Turkey would confront the group.

“They are now digging trenches in Manbij. What does this mean? It means ‘we’ve prepared the graves, come and bury us.’”

“They said they would abandon the area in 90 days, but they haven’t. We will do what is necessary,” he continued.

Last month, Erdogan said Turkey would take steps to create “safe zones” across northern Syria, including in areas held by the US-backed Kurdish forces.

Erdogan also vowed that northern Syria would not be a “terror corridor,” citing Turkish incursions in 2016 and 2018 to the west of the Euphrates River.

Turkey launched operation Euphrates Shield in 2016 to push back Islamic State (ISIS) and Syrian Kurdish fighters from a swathe of northern Syria west of the Euphrates River, including the towns of Al-Bab, Al-Rai, and Jarablus.

It launched a second incursion into Syria in January against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin region.

(NRT Digital Media)