Turkey’s operations in Syria to continue until Daesh, PKK, YPG no longer a threat, President Erdoğan says

Published 29.08.2016 19:41
Updated 30.08.2016 19:02
President Erdoğan addresses a rally in Gaziantep, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016.
President Erdoğan addresses a rally in Gaziantep, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016.

Turkey will continue its fight against terrorism both at home and in its neighboring countries until DAESH and the PKK and its Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) stop being a threat, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday.

"Turkey is determined to take steps to ensure the safety of its citizens both at home and in neighboring countries where terrorist groups are nestled," Erdoğan said in a message commemorating Victory Day.

"The Jarablus operation launched on Aug. 24 [in Syria] in cooperation with the international coalition is a reflection of such determination and will," Erdoğan said and added, "Our operations will continue until DAESH, the PKK and its Syrian affiliate PYD are eliminated as threats against our citizens,"he added.

Recently, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the operation led by Turkey to liberate Syria's Jarablus from DAESH terrorists will continue until elements of the PYD's armed wingç People's Democratic Union (YPG) retreats to the east bank of the Euphrates River.

Speaking during a live interview on Habertürk TV shortly after meeting U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Aug. 24, Yıldırım said it is necessary to cleanse Jarablus of terrorists and the PKK-affiliated groups including the PYD and YPG. "This was a pledge, a guarantee of the U.S.," Yıldırım said.

Yıldırım also said it is necessary to protect Syria's territorial integrity and that it would be a disaster if all ethnic groups wanted to establish their own state.

"The situation would be worse than today if every single ethnic group established a state," he said, adding that Turkey is already paying the price of the conflict in Syria by hosting over three million Syrians and that it is necessary for these people to return to a normal life as soon as possible.

Victory Day is celebrated over the Turkish victory at the Great Offensive in 1922 against invading Greek armies, which led to an end of Allied invasion that followed the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I.

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