TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (Press Shia) – Turkey’s president said on Tuesday that it was time to counter the PKK terrorists from forming a corridor in northern Syria, along Turkey’s borders.
Speaking to his party’s lawmakers on Tuesday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke of a possible Turkish army operation into the Afrin district of Syria’s Aleppo province.
“It is time to block the separatist terror group from forming a terror corridor along Syria,” said Erdogan.
“We will complete this process by securing all our borders,” he added, referring to a possible Afrin operation, reported Anadolu.
Any Afrin operation would follow on Turkey’s successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield, which ended last March.
Erdogan also praised “the firm stand” of the people of eastern Turkey during northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government’s illegitimate referendum last September.
The illegal poll was condemned by the international community.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU — resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.
Ankara says the PKK has also been active in Syria, through its PKK/PYD and PKK/YPG branches.
Turning to the recent US court conviction of Turkish banker Hakan Atilla, Erdogan reiterated that the case was another coup attempt against Turkey.
“The people who were unsuccessful in the July 15  coup attempt in our country are seeking out new coup attempts,” he warned, saying the Atilla case was a “political” coup.
Last Wednesday, a New York jury found Atilla, a former deputy CEO of Turkey’s public lender Halkbank, guilty on five counts related to conspiracy and bank fraud — including alleged Iran sanctions violations — but acquitted him of a money laundering charge.