Turkey: Erdogan Pushes On With ‘Euphrates Shield’ Operation In Northern Iraq


Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his call for a “terror-free zone” in the northern part of war-torn Syria on Saturday. He asserted that Turkey had a “goal” of forming “a 5,000-square-kilometer terror-free zone” surrounding Raqqa.

Backed by Turkish tanks, special forces and air strikes, a group of rebels fighting under the loose banner of the Free Syrian Army will press on to the Daesh-held town of Al Bab in Syria, Erdogan said, emphasizing Ankara’s drive to sweep militants and Syrian Kurdish fighters from territory near its border.

While Turkish officials have affirmed they will play a role in the ultimate liberation of Raqqa, they have insisted that they will not do so if the U.S. and other coalition parties insist on the Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) also being part of that coalition.

“They say, ‘Don’t go to al-Bab’. We are obliged to, we will go there,” Erdogan said in a speech at the opening of an education center in the northwest province of Bursa.

“We have to prepare a region cleansed from terror,” he said referring to Turkey’s ongoing military operation called “Euphrates Shield.”

Notably, Erdogan identifies not just Daesh as an extremist group, but the YPG, as well.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says Turkey is ready to “take measures” in northern Iraq because Ankara is not satisfied with promises from the United States and Baghdad about the role of Kurdish militants and Shi’ite militia fighters in the battle for Mosul.

Yildrim criticized Iraq’s leadership, saying it was “being provocative” with recent comments and said Ankara will continue to have a presence in Iraq.

On the other hand, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Turkey would “do what is necessary” if the PKK/PYD did not retreat and continued to attack the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army, which has launched Operation Euphrates Shield in August to clear Daesh from the region on Turkey’s southern border.

By Said Abdul Razzak, original source

Al Bawaba News

Al Bawaba provides top stories and breaking news about the Middle East and the world. The Al Bawaba network consists of several web portals and media platforms.

2 thoughts on “Turkey: Erdogan Pushes On With ‘Euphrates Shield’ Operation In Northern Iraq

  • October 24, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Some countries are looking for significant problems in Syria and Iraq. Over the last 25 years US imperialism has tried all its weapons and power to occupy the Middle East but has been defeated badly. It has lost even against defenseless people. Now, Turkey under the Sultan of Smit Erdogan tries to put his forces in Iraq and Syria for implementing the Israel strategy of the Middle East. I should state that Erdogan is really coward, because Syria and Iraq are fighting his armies of Daesh and AL Qaeda and the two countries are winning. So, he has decided to interject himself in these two countries. His goal is clear. US imperialism has ordered him to intervene in these two countries, because US imperialism has no military forces in these two countries to change the equation for the terrorists. But this what is going to happen. If the Sultan of Smit keeps his forces in Iraq and Syria, he will face a hell of fire and his country will be destroyed and defeated. There are huge forces will counter his goals. And if the NATO defends him, the NATO will be defeated as well.

  • October 27, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Erdogan should not be allowed to occupy parts of Syria and Iraq. The Ottoman era is over.


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