Turkey plans ‘moves’ at Syria border
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president reiterated Saturday that new cross-border operations into Syria are in the works as the country boosts its military presence along the border against threats from Kurdish militants in war-torn Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey is determined to begin “new moves” akin to its foray into northern Syria last August. “It’s clear that the situation in Syria goes beyond a war on a terror organization,” Erdogan said, referring to the Islamic State group, and alluding to Kurdish aspirations for statehood.
He was addressing a large crowd at a stadium opening in eastern Malatya province, and slammed the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria.
Turkey has been vehemently opposed to the presence of the People’s Protection Units in northern Syria. The Syrian Kurdish militants are a key U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria, and the ongoing campaign to retake the extremist group’s declared capital, Raqqa.
But Turkey, a NATO member, considers the People’s Protection Units to be a terror group and an extension of Kurdish militants that have waged a three-decades-long insurgency inside its borders.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters Saturday in a stadium in Malatya.