Turkey says Syria operation preparations complete
Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 photo, Turkish forces artillery pieces are seen on their new positions near the border with Syria in Sanliurfa province. (DHA via AP)
Date: 2019-10-08 10:11
Turkey has finalized all preparations for a military operation in the area east of the Euphrates River in Syria to establish a safe zone, the National Defense Ministry said Tuesday (October 8).
"The establishment of a Safe Zone/Peace Corridor is essential for Syrians' safety and the stability and peace of the region," the ministry said on Twitter.
"Turkish Security Forces will never tolerate the creation of a terror corridor at our borders. All preparations for the operation have been completed," it added.
US military forces began pulling out from the area on Monday hours after White House's withdrawal announcement.
Following the withdrawal process, US President Donald Trump said late Monday that he wasn't "siding with anyone in Syria" with his decision to withdraw troops.
"I am not siding with anybody. We've been in Syria for many years. Syria was supposed to be a short-term hit. We were supposed to be in and out," Trump said during a news conference at the White House.
The Trump administration has ruled out any US support for the operation and warned Ankara of repercussions if Turkey fails to watch over captured ISIS members.
Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.
On Aug. 7, Turkish and US military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of displaced Syrians who want to return home. They also agreed to establish a joint operations center.
Based on DS