On January 29, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stressed that his country has finished all preparations for carrying out a new trans-border operation in Syria, Haberturk channel reported.
“The Turkish Armed Forces have ended all preparations within the scope of employment. We will carry out all the necessary actions in Manbij and in the east of the Euphrates in due time,” Akar said.
On December 12, 2018 President Tayyip Erdogan once again declared that Ankara intends to start a military operation against Kurdish armed groups in northeastern Syria. Ankara describes the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as a Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey.
Turkey makes claims about a nearing third military operation in northern Syria on a constant basis. However, so far, these claims have not turned into reality.
The previous two Turkish military operations – Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch – took place in the northern eastern part of Aleppo province. As a result of them, Turkey and its proxies seized the border area from the Afrin region to the western bank of the Euphrates River.