Turkey to launch new Syrian operation if its security is threatened

Turkey completed Operation Euphrates Shield to clear its border with Syria of terrorists and stop a possible advance from the PKK-affiliated YPG.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Euphrates Shield military operation launched in Syria last August has ended but Turkish troops are still stationed in the secured regions. (File Photo)

Turkey has ended Operation Euphrates Shield along its border with Syria, but Prime Minister Binali Yildirim suggested on Wednesday there might be more cross-border campaigns to come.

Turkey launched the military operation in Syria last August by sending in troops, tanks and warplanes to help the Free Syrian Army (FSA) push Daesh away from its border and stop the advance of the PKK-affiliated YPG.

"Operation Euphrates Shield has been successful and is finished. Any operation following this one will have a different name," Yildirim said on Wednesday.

Under Euphrates Shield, Turkey took the border town of Jarablus on the Euphrates River and cleared Daesh from a roughly 100 km stretch of the border.

It then moved to liberate Al Bab from Daesh in the south, where Yildirim said, "everything is under control."

It also stopped a possible advance from the PKK-affiliated YPG.

Turkey, the EU and the US consider the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

Almost 70 Turkish soldiers were killed, along with hundreds of Syrian rebels in the fight against Daesh.

TRT World’s Abubakr al Shamahi explains the details of the completed operation.

Turkish troops are still stationed in regions along the border it had secured during the operation should a security threat occur.

Yildirim said Turkey would launch fresh military operations in Syria should the country's security be threatened.

"From this point on, there will be a new operation if there's something that threatens our security."

With the second largest army in NATO, Turkey is seeking a role for its military in a planned offensive on Raqqa, one of Daesh’s two de facto capitals along with Mosul in Iraq.

The US sees the YPG as a main ally in fighting Daesh, but Turkey considers it as a branch of the PKK terror group.

YPG still has control over areas west of the Euphrates River - something Turkey had previously called unacceptable.

TRT World's Hasan Abdullah explains Turkey's concerns over US-YPG relations.

TRTWorld and agencies