Turkey’s military operations in neighboring Syria will not stop until the terrorism threat ends, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, while criticizing the U.S. administration over recent remarks it made about Turkey.
“Turkey will not stop in Syria until the terror threat is eliminated; Manbij being the first place,” Erdoğan said on March 21 at an event in Ankara.
Erdoğan once again criticized the U.S. administration over a spokesperson’s remarks on Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria’s northwestern district of Afrin.
Stating that Turkey undertook the operation to secure its borders from threats coming from the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara regards as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), Erdoğan stressed that Turkish forces “will continue to move” its operations in Syria.
“I have always said that we are determined in this. If there are some people who have the courage, we dare [them to oppose us],” he added.
His comments came after U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the U.S. was concerned about the situation in Afrin.
Erdoğan called on U.S. President Donald Trump to “eliminate confusions in U.S. policies,” over Turkey.
“We expect Mr. Trump to take a stance to prevent such statements that have reached an extent that can be considered as crossing the line. Those speaking on behalf of Mr. Trump do not know what they are saying,” he said.
Erdoğan once again urged the U.S. to stop its support to the YPG through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
“They say they will not withdraw from Manbij. You [U.S.] have no right to be present there, let alone withdrawing from that place,” he said.
“They have come from 12,000 kilometers away. Is this territory yours to come in the first place? They came and brought the YPG along with them,” he said.
“We want a fair administration. We are approaching the issue with a fair understanding. We haven’t gone anywhere to occupy, we have gone to build stability, to remove the terrorists there,” he said.