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Erdoğan hints at cross-border operation against Kurdish fighters in Syria

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday made more likely a possible cross-border operation to remove Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from its border with Syria, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Turkish president has for several months threatened to launch an operation against the YPG in northern Syria.

Turkey considers the YPG to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

“We will continue our fight against terrorism. Our decision to establish a 30-kilometer-deep secure line along our southern border is final,” Erdoğan said during his speech to Turkish diplomats attending the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara.

He went on to say that he hoped Turkey would soon eliminate the final pockets of the terrorist group in Syria.

Turkey has carried out three cross-border operations in Syria against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as well as US-backed Kurdish militias and has frequently used factions of armed Syrian fighters in addition to its own forces.

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