Turkish president again threatens to ‘clear’ areas in northeast Syria

"Our decision to establish a 30-kilometre-deep secure line along our southern border is permanent."
author_image Kurdistan 24
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Turkish Presidency)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Turkish Presidency)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday at the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara again threatened to clear northeast Syria from Kurdish-led forces amid an increase in drone attacks and shelling in northeast Syria.

"We will continue our fight against terrorism. Our decision to establish a 30-kilometre-deep secure line along our southern border is permanent,” he said.

"I hope we will join the parts of this security zone together soon by clearing the last areas where the terrorist organization is nesting in Syria."

Turkey since May said they were preparing for a new military operation to secure its southern border with Syria.

Until now, Russia, Iran, and the United States have opposed a new Turkish operation.

US officials have repeatedly stated a new Turkish operation could damage the fight against ISIS.

In the meanwhile Turkish drone strikes in northeast Syria have continued to target fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and have also killed and injured civilians.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the 13th Ambassadors’ Conference held at Cankaya Presidential Palace (Photo: Turkish Presidency)
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the 13th Ambassadors’ Conference held at Cankaya Presidential Palace (Photo: Turkish Presidency)

Ibrahim Hamidi writing for Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday wrote that while Russia has opposed a new operation, it has permitted Turkey to expand drone strikes in northern Syria.

Moreover, he wrote that Russia is pushing for cooperation between the Syrian government and Turkey.

Turkish officials recently have indicated that they have contact with Damascus.

The Turkish President Erdogan told reporters after meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Sochi on August 5 that the Russian president Putin told Erdogan to work with the 'resolve these issues along with the regime."

"In response, we say that our intelligence agency is now investigating these issues with the Syrian intelligence service, but the goal is to achieve results," Erdogan said according the website of the Turkish presidency.

"We say, 'If our intelligence is collaborating with the Syrian intelligence on this effort, and if terrorist organisations continue to freely operate there with wild abandon, you must support us in tackling this issue.' We also have an agreement on this matter," Erdogan concluded.

Moreover, also in late July, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in said he was willing to support the Syrian government against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the New Arab reported.

In the meanwhile, the SDF has blamed Russia and the United States for not stopping Turkish drone strikes.

Read More: SDF holds US and Russia responsible for increased Turkish drone strikes

On Aug. 6, four people, including two children, were killed in a Turkish drone strike. 

"This brutal Turkish aggression and other aggressions against our areas wouldn’t have happened without the condoning of the two guarantors of the Ceasefire Agreement," the SDF said in a statement on August 7.

"US and Russia are primarily responsible for these Turkish aggressions, for they have the power to curb the crimes of the Turkish occupying state against our people."

"In addition, the international community should put pressure on the Turkish occupying State, putting an end to its violations and crimes, and forcing it to withdraw from the Syrian territory."