Turkey’s president on Friday hailed the military’s successful cross-border operations as well as serving as advisors abroad, saying the country’s position in NATO would grow stronger.
Speaking by phone to top commanders serving abroad and along the border as Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and senior officials were doing inspections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was his duty to applaud the military’s performance against terrorism.
The Turkish Armed Forces’ accomplishments are visible in northern Iraq and northern Syria (including Idlib) – where it has conducted anti-terrorist operations, stabilizing the region – and Libya, where it has advised government forces fighting a renegade warlord, said Erdogan.
Turkish cross-border operations in northern Iraq target the PKK terror group, mostly through air-backed campaigns. As for northern Syria, Turkey’s military has prevented the formation of a “terrorist corridor” by the YPG/PKK and blocked its efforts to infiltrate regions liberated from terrorists.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
In Libya, Turkey backs the internationally recognized government fighting against warlord Khalifa Haftar. Aided by Turkish military advisors, Libya’s army has recently inflicted heavy damage on Haftar’s militias.
Our unity and solidarity will entrance the world and strengthen our country’s position within NATO, Erdogan said, thanking the Turkish Armed Forces on behalf of the Turkish nation.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
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