Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to begin a military incursion into northern Syria targeting Kurdish forces backed by the US.
In a speech, he reiterated his demand for a 30-kilometer (19-mile) safe zone in northern Syria that would be achieved by pushing out forces of the YPG, a predominantly Kurdish armed group that Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization.
“We will address the shortcomings of the secure strip we established at our southern borders through new operations,” the president said on Saturday at a weekend gathering of lawmakers of his Ak Party.
Regarding his government’s veto of Sweden and Finland’s applications to join Nato, Erdogan complained about European countries’ support for Kurdish groups and said the war in Ukraine and talks to expand the alliance highlighted Turkey’s importance within it.
“I am making it very clear for them,” the president said. “A depth of 30 kilometers from our borders is considered to be our security zone, and we don’t want attacks launched against us from that area.”
“We are working on steps for this, and we will take those steps,” he said.