Turkish president threatens new operation in northern Syria

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-04 01:03:09|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ISTANBUL, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Saturday to resume military actions against Syrian Kurdish fighters in case Turkey comes under attack by them.

"We will not discuss the matter with anyone but will make our own decision and take the matter into our own hands," the president said at a meeting with businessmen in Istanbul.

He spoke of a possible resumption of the so-called Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria if the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing the People's Protection Units launch an attack on Turkey.

Ankara sees the two groups as the Syrian offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) outlawed for its decades-old armed struggle for an autonomous region in Turkey's southeast, and the Turkish military ended Operation Euphrates Shield at the end of March that was launched in August last year.

Erdogan said that he had spoken of the matter with both Russian and U.S. officials.

Earlier in the day, Turkish media reported that the United States was resupplying PKK and PYD militants in northern Syria with military equipment, a move vehemently opposed by Turkey.

U.S. President Donald Trump authorized military support to the Syrian Kurdish fighters last month, as an operation to retake Syria's Raqqa from the so-called Islamic State was going on with their involvement.