Erdogan says Turkish troops to enter east of Euphrates in Syria "very soon"

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-26 20:17:13|Editor: xuxin
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ANKARA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the Turkish land troops will enter the east of the Euphrates in Syria "very soon," reiterating his determination to clear the region of "terrorists."

Speaking at an event in the eastern city of Mus to mark the 948th anniversary of Battle of Malazgirt, Erdogan said the Turkish forces are "slowly covering ground" regarding the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria agreed upon with the United States.

He warned the United States against any delays over the safe zone agreement, saying Turkey will proceed with its own plans if the cooperation with the United States does not go well.

"I hope no one will try to test Turkey's patience or determination to clear terrorists from our border with Syria," he noted.

On Aug. 7, Turkish and U.S. army officials agreed to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, which is expected to turn into a "peace corridor" stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border to facilitate the return of displaced Syrians living in Turkey to their home country and to address Turkey's security concerns along the border.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched two major military operations in northwestern Syria to clear the region of the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The PKK is termed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the EU. However, the United States has been allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces, militarily led by the YPG, in battles against the Islamic State militant group in Syria.