No one should try to prevent Türkiye from conducting a military operation in Syria’s north to secure its borders, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said.
“We act as principled, open, transparent and in compliance with international law as much as possible in all our activities,” Akar told a group of journalists following a cabinet meeting late on June 6.
“We say that we will ensure the security of our borders and citizens. We do not want any formation on our borders that threatens our borders and the security of our citizens. Whatever it is called, a ‘terror corridor’ or a ‘terror formation.’ As a matter of fact, we have been destroying ‘terror corridors’ since 2016. We will not allow any such formation there from now on,” Akar said, adding the government is determined to save the Turkish nation from terrorism.
“We are determined and are capable of this,” he stressed.
“Let no one come before us in this matter, do not try to hinder us. Our only target is terrorists,” Akar said.
He noted that harassment and attack attempts against Turkey are concentrated in two regions in Syria’s north: Tal Rifaat and Manbij.
Türkiye targets “terrorists” in Syria, not Kurds and Arabs in the country, Akar said.
“Our only target is terrorists. Kurds and Arabs are our brothers. It is obvious that we have taken every precaution in order not to harm civilians and the environment, both during the planning and execution phases, and what we have done in this regard.
Everyone knows we’re more sensitive than any other army,” the minister stated.
Asked about the timing of the new military incursion into Syria, Akar said, “Whatever is necessary will be done when the time comes, when appropriate.”
Turkey will launch a new anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria in a bid to clear Tal Rifaat and Manbij provinces of the YPG, Erdoğan earlier said, describing the new offensive as a new stage in Turkey’s efforts to create a 30-kilometer deep security zone in the Syrian territories.