Turkey to ‘purge’ terror from its south borders with Afrin operation
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled Sunday a military operation against the PKK terror group's Syrian offshoot Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's Afrin, located at the border with Turkey.
Turkey will continue to fight terrorism on its southern borders with the operation in the northern Syrian region of Afrin, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday.
"In the coming days, God willing, we will continue with Afrin [operation] -- that we started first with Euphrates Shield Operation -- to purge terrorism from our southern borders," Erdoğan said in his speech at the provincial congress meeting of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the central Anatolian Tokat province.
The Afrin operation will follow Turkey's successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield, which ended last March.
Erdoğan said he also expected support from allies in Turkey's fight against terrorism.
"We expect from our allies that they behave in accordance with the spirit of our deep-rooted relationship during this process," Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan hoped that "despite everything", Turkey can cooperate with the U.S. since both countries have "common interests" in the region.
"We expect them to support Turkey's legitimate efforts," the president added.
Erdoğan also hoped the allies would not make "mistakes" such as "taking sides with" the terrorist organization during the Afrin operation.
He added Turkey would "resolutely" continue to fight against terrorism, both at home and abroad.
On Saturday, Turkish security forces hit several PKK/PYD targets in the Afrin district of Syria's Aleppo province to prevent a "terror corridor" from forming along Turkey's borders.
According to information gathered by Anadolu Agency in Idlib, the Turkish army fired at least 40 times during the artillery bombardment in Afrin's five districts including Bosoufane, Jindires and Rajo.
The artillery units hit PKK/PYD forces from Turkey's southern province of Hatay.
The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.
Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in 1984, an estimated 40,000 people have been killed in Turkey in related violence.