Erdogan says Turkey will 'definitely' complete safe zone in Syria
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday vowed to complete the 30-kilometer-deep safe zone along its southern border.
Speaking at a meeting in southern Sanliurfa province, Erdogan said “the attacks of the terrorist organization and those who hold its bridle will not be able to reverse this determination.”
Turkey launched airstrikes into Northern Syria following a deadly Istanbul attack on November 13 that Ankara blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YGP). Despite Kurdish groups denied involvement, Turkey also threatened a ground operation into the region.
Since 2016, Turkey launched three military offensives against the Kurdish controlled areas in Northern Syria. Both the US and Russia have been trying to prevent Turkey from starting a fresh offensive, urging the Turkish government to show restraint in the region.
“If you are weak, there will be a lot of people who intervene, who stir you up from outside. You see those who are waging a proxy war. They oppose Turkey's protection of its borders. They are not worried about Kurds, Arabs or Turks in this geography. Their only concern is their own political and economic interests. Turkey is no longer the old Turkey,” Erdogan said without naming any country.