Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: Turkey to expand military operations in Iraq and Syria

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that the Turkish army will be stepped up against Kurdish fighters. In addition, he was re-elected as ACP boss.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: Turkey to expand military operations in Iraq and Syria

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to extend Turkish military's operations in Iraq and Syria. He is going to dry " source of threat" for his country, said Erdoğan at party congress of his Islamic-conservative AKP in Ankara. He announced that Turkish army would continue and expand its missions beyond borders. Turkey has been stationing soldiers in norrn Syria for two years.

The announcement of such cross-border operations is likely to exacerbate crisis between Turkish Government and United States. In north of Syria, American and Turkish troops are directly opposite. Washington supports Kurdish associations that have achieved great success against Islamic State terror militia. They control an area of hundreds of kilometres along Turkish border.

The Turkish Government considers se units under leadership of YPG Group on ir border as Syrian offshoot of banned Kurdish Workers ' Party PKK. Twice, Turkey, along with Proturkish rebels, invaded northwest Syria and conquered mainly Kurds, for example in Afrin.

Turkey is also in conflict with Kurds in Iraq. Turkish soldiers also invaded norrn Iraq, where PKK has retreat areas. In September 2017, norrn Iraqi Kurds had voted for independence from rest of country in an overwhelming majority referendum. Like Iraqi government, Turkey rejects an independent Kurdish state.

The president also used party congress to attack US because of recently imposed sanctions. "Some think y could threaten us with economy, punitive measures, foreign exchange rates, interest rates and inflation. We know your scams, and we will offer your forehead, "Erdoğan said.

To ACP chief with all votes re-elected

According to state news agency Anadolu, Erdoğan was unanimously confirmed at party Congress as ACP leader. All nearly 1400 votes cast were no more than Erdoğan. On diplomatic crisis with NATO partner USA, head of state continued to say that Turkey would not surrender to those who "want to represent us as a strategic partner and at same time make us a strategic goal".

There is still no rapprochement in dispute. A court in Izmir, Turkey, refusing to release detained US pastor Andrew Brunson on Friday, which is at heart of conflict. Shortly before, government in Ankara had threatened furr retaliatory measures if new US sanctions were imposed. The Turkish lira was still under pressure.

Updated Date: 19 August 2018, 12:00

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