Turkey to take action in Syria 'when time comes'

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Turkey to take action in Syria 'when time comes'

ANKARA 


Turkey will take new actions against terrorists across the border in Syria "when the time comes," the country's defense minister said on Tuesday.

"When the time comes, the necessary actions will be taken both in Manbij and east of the Euphrates," said Hulusi Akar, referring to a counter-terrorist operation long pledged by Turkish leaders.

Akar said Turkey's preparations for a possible operation are ready, adding: "The only target of the Turkish Armed Forces is terrorists."

Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region -- including Al-Bab, Afrin, and Azaz -- of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled violence there to return home.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG/PYD is the group's Syrian branch.

Akar also said Turkey welcomed the Kurdish Regional Government's "timely" reactions and measures against an attack on a Turkish base in Iraq.

On Saturday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said a base belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces in northern Iraq was attacked due to provocation by the PKK terrorist group.