BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:25 A.M.) – Turkey is planning to launch a large-scale military operation against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Sunday.
Erdogan stated that he has informed his Russian and U.S. counterparts about the military operation, which he said would specifically target areas controlled by the YPG and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
“We entered Afrin, Jarabulus, and Al-Bab [in northern Syria], and now we’re going to enter east of the Euphrates,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an inauguration ceremony in Bursa.
“We shared this [information] with the U.S. and Russia,” he added.
Erdogan and his administration have often referenced the PKK in Syria, despite the fact that the organization controls no territory inside the country.
The PKK has been outlawed by Ankara for several years now, as the organization was involved in a long conflict with the Turkish Armed Forces in the latter part of the 20th Century.
During the PKK-Turkish Army conflict, Syria, under the leadership of President Hafez Al-Assad, provided military assistance to the Kurdish group, including a base to launch attacks on the border.
This military assistance caused friction between Damascus and Ankara for years, until they both reached an agreement at the city of Adana in the late 1990s.