Turkish troops to stay until Syrian army regains control
Ankara, Aug 25 (IANS) Turkish troops will continue their military operation in Syria until the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) regains control of Jarabulus town, Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Thursday.
“Our main goal is to clear Jarabulus of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. The second goal is to prevent Syrian Kurds from taking control of the area. Jarabulus is an important point in both a short and long-term perspective,” Sputnik news agency quoted Isik as saying.
On Wednesday, Turkish armed forces backed by US-led coalition aircraft, launched a campaign dubbed “Euphrates Shield” to clear Jarabulus of extremist militants.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the operation was aimed at neutralising the threats posed by the IS as well as Kurdish militants, which Ankara considers to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey.
Syrian Kurds and Damascus accused Ankara of violating the territorial integrity of the Arab republic.