(File photo)Turkish-backed Syrian Arab fighters walk in the streets after seizing control of the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on March 18, 2018. (AFP photo)
ANKARA, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Turkey has started preparations for further operations to clear northern Syrian regions, as well as Iraq's Sinjar, from Syrian Kurdish militants towards the Iraqi border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
"We have started necessary preparation to clear northern Syrian areas towards the Iraqi border," Erdogan said during the ruling Justice and Development Party meeting in Ankara, as he mentioned the Syrian cities of Ayn al-Arab, Tel Abyad and Rasulayn.
"Turkish forces also could launch operation in northern Iraq's Sinjar suddenly," he added.
Turkey has no intention of harming soldiers of allied nations positioned in the region, but that it could not allow the People's Protection Units (YPG) to roam free, Erdogan said.
The Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army fighters took complete control of the Afrin region on March 24 after an eight-week offensive to drive YPG militants from the region.
President Erdogan vowed to extend the military operation along the Syrian border, adding that Turkey would not take a step back in its anti-terror operations.
Turkey repeatedly urged U.S. and the U.S.-backed YPG to retreat from Syria's Manbij where 2,000 American troops are stationed.
Washington has voiced concerns about the safety of U.S. troops in Manbij amid Turkey's ongoing military operation against the Syrian Kurdish militants.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear the YPG, which Ankara considers a terror group affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), from northwestern Syria.