Ankara, Oct 6 (IANS) Turkey said on Thursday that it was prepared to carry out a cross-border operation to retake Syria’s northern city of Afrin when necessary.
“We may intervene if necessary; all preparations for a cross-border military operation are completed,” Xinhua quoted Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin as saying in an interview with state-run TRT Haber channel.
“Turkey will not hesitate to act for its own security when and where it is deemed necessary,” Kalin said, adding that Turkey would continue what it did in the past “because it prioritises its own national interests.”
The spokesman noted that the establishment of a de-escalation zone in rebel-held Idlib Province would start in the coming days.
Afrin, which is under the control of the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG), has been dominating Ankara’s agenda for a long time.
In fear of the establishment of an autonomous terrorist state along its southern border, Ankara has been mulling over driving the YPG from the strategic city.
The Turkish army has long been reinforcing its military deployment on the Syrian border in case of a threat to its territory.