Turkey is gearing up for new military operations following the conclusion of Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
“The first phase of the Operation Euphrates Shield ended after Syria’s al-Bab was cleared of terrorists. Now we are preparing for new operations against terrorist groups in other regions,” Erdogan said during a rally held as part of an opening ceremony of multiple projects in the Black sea province of Trabzon.
Launched in late August last year, and carried out by the support of Free Syrian Army fighters, the operation aimed to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border.
“The new operations will have different names. We have new surprises for all terror groups including the PKK/PYD, the Daesh and the FETO who are looking forward to the spring,” Erdogan added.
“God willing, the following months will be the spring of Turkey and Turkish people, and the deadly winter of terrorists.”
Defense Minister Fikri Isik had said Friday that the end of Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria did not not mean threats were over.
“When the need arises and a threat occurs against Turkey’s security, Turkey will not hesitate to conduct other operations in order to eliminate this threat,” he said.
Isik added that the operation had cleared 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) area of Daesh, and the PKK/PYD’s “dream of merging cantons” in northern Syria had been shattered.
The PYD is the Syrian offshoot of PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.
The minister said Turkey would continue to do whatever is necessary to ensure the region remains stable and free of terror.
“The operation is over, but what needs to be done will continue to be done,” he added.
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