Turkey’s Erdogan vows to establish ‘safe zone’ in Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to establish a “safe zone” in Syria with the professed intention of protecting the country’s southern border, after Ankara launched a barrage of air strikes against Kurdish-led militants in the Arab country’s north.
Erdogan made the remark during a televised speech to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Friday, as Ankara has long sought to build a “safe zone” with a depth of 30 kilometers in northern Syria and repeatedly threatened to start a new military offensive in the area to achieve its goal.
“With the security zone we are establishing on the other side of our border, we are also protecting the rights of millions of women and children,” Erdogan said, adding, “God willing, we will complete this zone along the border from the west to the east as soon as possible.”
The Turkish president vowed on Tuesday to launch the country’s fourth illegal ground operation in Syria “soon,” issuing the most direct threat of the kind since May, when he started warning of such an invasion.
“We have been on top of terrorists for a few days with our planes, cannons, and drones,” Erdogan said, referring to the Turkish military’s back-to-back strikes against Kurdish militants in northern Syria throughout the past several days.