Turkey plans ‘moves’ at Syria bor­der

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

AP

Turkey’s Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan ad­dresses sup­port­ers Sat­ur­day in a sta­dium in Malatya.

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