Turkey’s Erdogan vows to impose secure zones east of Euphrates in Syria

President Tayyip Erdogan has in the past warned of new military operations against the YPG along the Syrian border and if necessary into northern Iraq. (Reuters)
Updated 24 September 2018
0

Turkey’s Erdogan vows to impose secure zones east of Euphrates in Syria

  • Earlier this year, Turkey carried out a military operation to seize control of Syria’s Afrin region from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia
  • The YPG also controls the Syrian region east of the Euphrates
ISTANBUL: Turkey will take action east of the Euphrates river in Syria and impose secure zones as it has done in the northwest of the country, President Tayyip Erdogan said in comments broadcast on Turkish media on Monday.
Earlier this year, Turkey carried out a military operation to seize control of Syria’s Afrin region from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization. The YPG also controls the Syrian region east of the Euphrates.
“God willing, in the period ahead we will increase the number of secure zones in Syria, encompassing the east of the Euphrates,” Erdogan said in a speech during a visit to New York.
Before the Afrin operation, Turkey also carried out a cross-border operation dubbed “Euphrates Shield,” which targeted both the YPG and Daesh fighters east of Afrin.
After the completion of Euphrates Shield in early 2017, Turkey set up local systems of governance in the swathe of land under its control and protected by Turkish forces. It has done the same in Afrin.
Erdogan has in the past warned of new military operations against the YPG along the Syrian border and if necessary into northern Iraq.
Expanding Turkey’s military campaign into the much larger Kurdish-held territory east of the Euphrates would risk confronting troops of NATO ally the US, that are deployed alongside a YPG-dominated force there.
The YPG has been Washington’s main ally against Daesh in Syria, infuriating Ankara which sees the Kurdish force as an extension of a militant group waging a decades-long insurgency in southeast Turkey.
Erdogan’s comments come a week after he and Russia’s Vladimir Putin announced a deal under which Russian and Turkish troops will enforce a demilitarized zone in northwest Syria’s Idlib region.


UN food chief warns aid suspension in Yemen likely to start this week

Updated 26 min 34 sec ago
0

UN food chief warns aid suspension in Yemen likely to start this week

UNITED NATIONS: United Nations food chief David Beasley warned the Security Council on Monday that a phased-suspension of food assistance in Yemen was likely to begin later this week over a diversion of aid and lack of independence in Houthi-controlled areas.
He called on the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to implement agreements to allow the World Food Programme to operate independently.
“If we do not receive these assurances then we will begin a phased suspension of food assistance, most likely toward the end of this week. If and when we do initiate suspension we will continue our nutrition program for malnourished children, pregnant women and new mothers,” Beasley told the council.