“The current Syrian problem areas are Manbij and east of the Euphrates; our plans, preparations and logistics are completed.
“The operations in Manbij and east of the Euphrates will start when the right time comes,” Akar said in the southern border province of Hatay on Jan. 20, marking the first anniversary of the start of Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch.
“We have no problems with our Kurdish brothers or Arab brothers in Syria and Iraq. Our only targets are the terrorist ISIL and PKK/YPG,” added Akar.
“We will never allow a terrorist state or terror corridor at our southern border. We will continue to fight with terrorists until they all neutralized,” he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also spoke with Akar and the commando team in a video call.
Erdoğan stressed that Turkey’s fight against terrorism will continue without hesitation in Syria’s Afrin, Jarabulus, and Al-Bab regions.
A mission east of the Euphrates River would follow two cross-border Turkish operations into Syria since 2016 – Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch – both meant to eradicate the presence of YPG and ISIL militants near Turkey’s borders.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. Ankara also considers the YPG as a terrorist organization for its links to the PKK.