President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would conduct an "air and ground operation" east of the Euphrates, prompting US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to face an "all-out It was Erdogan's most direct indication of unilateral intrusion into the war-torn country since Ankara and Washington decided to set up a "safe zone."
The Operation According to Reuters news agency, "terrorists" from the border region could already start on Saturday or Sunday, Erdogan said at the opening of his AK Party's annual camp on Saturday.
"We'll do it." [operation] on the ground and in the air, "Erdogan said, adding that it was located in the east of the Euphrates.
"We have made our preparations, completed our deployment plans, and given the necessary direction," he said.
The comments came days later Erdogan said Ankara has no choice but to act alone to form a "safe zone" along the border with northeastern Syria since the US "took too long to trade ".
The NATO allies agreed to set up the zone on Syria border on 7 August. Despite the beginning of joint patrols along the border in September, the two were at odds over several details of the plan.
The two countries disagreed about how far the area should extend, who should control it, and what groups should be evicted from the area.
Turkey has announced that the zone will extend over 30 kilometers to Syria and be liberated by members of the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia operating in Syria and regarded by Turkey as a "terrorist organization" ,
Washington supports the SDF, led by the YPG and instrumental in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the militants of the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) in Syria.
Turkey, which currently has 3.6 million Syrian refugees, also says it wants to place up to 2 million refugees in the "safe zone".
SDF warns of a comprehensive war
The SDF, which is fighting against the Syrian government forces, responded quickly to Erdogan's statements, saying they would "not hesitate to transform an unprovoked [Turkish] attack into a sweeping attack." ".
On Friday, a group of Turkish-backed rebels fighting in Turkey promised to support a possible cross-border offensive from Ankara.
Erdogan has repeatedly urged the Turkish allies to financially support the "safe zone," even in his speech to the United Nations (1
The plan is also expected by the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia and Iran Damascus's most powerful supporters declined.
The main opposition party in Turkey, the Republican People's Party (CHP), has also stated that Damascus should be involved in all Turkey's efforts to establish the "safe zone".