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‘Turkey’s Syria operation cannot be limited to Afrin’

January 17, 2018 at 4:49 am

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul, Turkey on 10 June 2017 [Şebnem Coşkun/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey may expand its operations in northern Syria to Manbij city and east of the Euphrates River after Afrin has been cleared, Turkey’s foreign minister said late Tuesday, Anadolu reports.

Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to reporters after meeting with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in Vancouver, Canada, where he was attending the Vancouver Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula.

“Turkey’s precautions against YPG/PKK cannot be limited to only Afrin. There is also Manbij and east of the Euphrates River,” Cavusoglu said.

Cavusoglu also said the US plan to establish a border guard in northwest Syria “irreversibly harms US-Turkey ties”.

Read: Turkey warns citizens against travelling to US

On Sunday, Ryan Dillon, spokesperson for the US-led coalition against Daesh, announced plans to establish a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria with the SDF – a US-backed group drawn up largely of PYD/PKK terrorist elements.

The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.