Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed a pledge to carry out a cross-border military operation against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria.
In a speech on Sunday during a motorway-opening ceremony in Bursa, Erdogan said Russia and the United States have been informed of the planned operation, but did not say when the offensive would begin.
“We entered Afrin, Jarablus, and Al-Bab. Now we will enter the east of the Euphrates,” Erdogan said in the city of Bursa.
Turkey has been deploying large numbers of troops to the border with Syria in recent days, according to media reports.
Turkey had in the past warned of carrying out military operations east of the Euphrates River, but put them on hold after agreeing with the US to create a safe zone inside Syria’s northeastern border with Turkey that would be cleared of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.
But Ankara has accused Washington of stalling progress on setting up the safe zone and has demanded it sever its relations with the YPG.
Damascus has repeatedly denounced Turkish and US agreements, stressing that such understandings violates the Syrian sovereignty.