Turkey ends preparations for new trans-border operation in Syria – minister
Ankara has ended all preparations for carrying out a new trans-border operation in Syria, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday. “We will carry out all the necessary actions in Manbij and in the east of the Euphrates in due time,” Haberturk channel quoted him as saying. Turkey has already carried out two military operations in Syria, Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch. As a result, a security zone between the border cities of Azaz and Jarabulus was created and Afrin was occupied. President Tayyip Erdogan on December 12 announced plans to start an operation on the eastern Euphrates river bank against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the coming days. Ankara regards them as a Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey.