Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will resume its military operation in Syria's Afrin and Manbij regions to breach YPG-controlled areas and secure its borders against terror groups.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his governing AK Party during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, January 9, 2018.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his governing AK Party during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, January 9, 2018. ( Reuters )

Turkey's military will continue its operation in Syria's Afrin and Manbij regions, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday during a parliamentary address to his governing AK Party.

In 2016, Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield on its Syrian border to eradicate what it called a "corridor of terror", made up of the dual threat of Daesh and YPG, a Syrian group which is supported by the US but is considered by Turkey to be affiliated with the PKK.

The PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU – conducts its armed campaign against Turkey since the 1980s.

Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40.000 of lives, including a number of women and children. 

"Now, it is the time to completely destroy the plan of the separatist terror group to establish a terror corridor in Syria. We will continue Operation Euphrates Shield in Afrin and Manbij. We will complete this process by bringing peace and security on all of our borders," he said.

"In this process, we need stronger support from our brothers in the region. We must work together to advance the steps we have taken in the past." Erdogan added.

Any military operation in Syria would follow on from Turkey's successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield, which ended last March.

The military operation was launched in August 2016 to eliminate the presence of Daesh in northern Syria, near the border of Turkey.

Turkey sent ground troops, tanks and warplanes to support Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels, push Daesh away from its border, and stop the advance of YPG.

Turkish banker case

Erdogan on Tuesday also condemned a US sanctions-busting case against a Turkish bank executive as a "political coup attempt" and a joint effort by the CIA, FBI and FETO group to undermine Ankara.

A US jury last week in New York found the executive of Turkey's public bank, Halkbank, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, guilty on five counts related to conspiracy and bank fraud but acquitted him of a money-laundering charge.

The verdict by a panel of six men and six women on Atilla, the 47-year-old former deputy CEO of the bank, came after more than three weeks of testimony and four days of deliberation.

The counts Atilla was found guilty of include the violation of US sanctions against Iran, crimes to deceive the US, and defrauding US banks.

Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) led by US-based businessman and cleric Fetullah Gulen was behind the defeated coup attempt on July 15, 2016 which killed more than 250 people and more than 2,000 injured.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies