On March 30, Turkey’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, and Chief of General Staff, Gen. Yasar Gulero, inaugurated a center in southeastern province of Sanliurfa that will manage any possible military operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.
The two commanders also inspected Turkish forces deployed near the Syrian border in Sanliurfa, according to the Anadolu Agency.
The new command center reflects Turkey’s determination to end the current situation in northeastern Syria, where US-backed Kurdish forces have established a self-administration. Turkey consider these forces a threat to its national security and recognize some of them, like the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as terrorist groups.
Earlier, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to solve the issue of northeastern Syria “on the field” after the upcoming local elections, which is set to be held on March 31. The Turkish President warned that his country will not tolerate a “terrorist corridor” on its southern border.
“We have taught the necessary lesson to those who tried to do that and we will do the same to them in the future,” Erdogan said.
Turkey will need an agreement with the U.S., who has hundreds of service members in northeastern Syria, before launching any attack on Kurdish forces. While such an agreement appears to be impossible now, this situation may change in the near future.