Erdogan reiterates firm stance against terrorism

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey would launch military operation in northern Iraq’s Sinjar if needed
ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday reiterated his firm stance against terrorism and said his country might carry out a military operation in northern Iraqi region of Sinjar “if needed”.
Speaking at his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s campaign rally in Atasehir district of Istanbul, Erdogan said: “Now, we’re in Iraq, Qandil. If needed, we will be in Sinjar.”
“Whoever disturbs our country, we will never listen [to anyone] but will shoot,” he added.
On Thursday, Erdogan had said Turkish military “finished off” 35 key members of PKK terror group in an air operation in Mt. Qandil area of northern Iraq.
According to Ankara, the presence of terrorist groups near its border constitute a threat and has launched military operations and other efforts to rid the region of terrorists.
During the rally, Erdogan also recalled Turkish army has neutralized 4,600 YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria’s Afrin region and 3,000 Daesh terrorists in Syria’s Jarablus.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from northwestern Syria’s Afrin region. On March 18, Day 58 of the operation, Turkish troops, and Free Syrian Army members liberated the town of Afrin.
On Monday, the Turkish and U.S. forces began patrols in Syria’s Manbij in line with a deal which was first announced after a meeting in Washington last week between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The Manbij deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the northern Syrian city in order to stabilize the region.
Should the model prove to be a success, Turkey will push for a similar arrangement in eastern Syria.
In its over-30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including those of women and children. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian branch.–AA

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