MIDDLE EAST

Turkey ready for operations on east Euphrates, Erdoğan says

"We will trample on terror groups with more effective operations. Turkey will bring down all terror nests on the eastern side of Euphrates. We have finished all our preparations, plans, program regarding the issue," President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group on Tuesday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday that they have finished preparations for operations on the eastern side of Euphrates River.

"We will trample on terror groups with more effective operations," Erdoğan told his Justice and Development Party's parliamentary group.

He said that Turkey would bring down all terror nests on the eastern side of Euphrates.

"We have finished all our preparations, plans, program regarding the issue," he added.

He said that Turkey cannot "look to the future with confidence without solving the Syrian issue".

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

The powers using terror groups as tools to reach their goals are trying to revive Daesh in Syria, Erdoğan said.

He said that Turkey would never allow them to drag Syria into chaos by inciting the regime or reviving Daesh in the region.

"Neither people in the region nor the world believe in the Daesh game," said Erdoğan.

More than 300 people lost their lives in Daesh-claimed attacks in Turkey, where the terror organization has targeted civilians in suicide bomb, rocket, and gun attacks in recent years.

Responding to reporters' questions after the meeting, Erdoğan said that the murder of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi needed to be solved.

"There is [...] no sense to try to protect the culprits," said Erdoğan.

Erdoğan added that they would not turn a blind eye to the Khashoggi case.

"If we turn blind eye to the issue, we have a joint debt against humanity, we have a conscientious debt," he said

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After weeks of denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, on Oct. 19 Saudi officials admitted that the journalist had died inside the consulate building.

Turkish police have been investigating the case, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said 18 people arrested in Saudi Arabia over the killing should be sent to Turkey to face trial.

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