Current and future operations across Turkiye’s southern borders do not target its neighbors’ territorial integrity, but are necessary for the country’s national security, the Turkish National Security Council said on Thursday.
In a statement following its meeting, the council urges countries violating international law by supporting terrorism to “put an end” to this attitude.
Underlining that Turkiye always fulfills the spirit and law of alliance in the international blocs where it is a member, the council said Ankara expects the same responsibility and sincerity from its allies.
The council also discussed Turkiye’s ongoing anti-terror operations and other measures.
On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would take steps to complete the remainder of a 30-kilometer (18-mile) safe zone along its southern border.
Turkiye borders Syria and Iraq to its south and has worked to eliminate existing terrorist bases and prevent new ones that would threaten its national security and the safety of locals across its borders.
Ankara has launched successive operations against the PKK in northern Iraq since 2020, most recently Operation Claw-Lock in April to target PKK hideouts in Iraq’s Metina region.
It was preceded by operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle, which were launched in 2020 to root out terrorists hiding in northern Iraq and plotting cross-border attacks in Turkiye.
Since 2016, Ankara has launched a trio of successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US, and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
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