In a recent statement on the military operations of his country’s army in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated the continuation of the construction of the security belt in the border areas shared by the two countries.
Erdogan said in Ankara yesterday, “The construction of the 30-kilometer security strip along the country’s southern border will continue and we will not abandon it under any circumstances. According to the official reading, the main purpose of the barrier is to prevent the infiltration of fighters of the so-called various terrorist groups. According to human rights activists, the wall’s main purpose is to separate the Kurdish populations on both sides of the border and restrict the movement of the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK and its Syrian offshoots.
The Turkish leader stressed, “The attacks and criticisms Turkey is facing in this regard will not prevent the realization of this goal. Erdoğan also criticized the U.S. policy of supporting armed Kurdish groups in the northern regions of Syria, saying, “They (Americans) came from thousands of kilometers away and supported terrorism near our borders, but Turkey is no longer the old Turkey.
The Turkish army has intensified its air and artillery attacks on Syria’s northern regions since Nov. 20. Erdogan said his country is also considering conducting ground operations in Syria. Turkish media reported Thursday that Erdogan and the country’s National Security Council have been studying such an operation. Turkey and Syria’s northern regions are experiencing mutual attacks between the Turkish army and U.S.-backed Kurdish armed groups. Activists on Thursday reported more airstrikes by Turkey on Kurdish positions in northern Syria.
Forces from Ankara shelled several villages as well as attacked an area by drone, the near-London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. A military base of Syrian government forces near Kobane was also reportedly bombed.
Explosion at Turkish base in northern Iraq
According to Iraqi news sources, several explosions were heard at the Turkish military base in northern Iraq. There were reportedly four explosions at the “Zelikan” base in the “Bashiqa” area.
The Iraqi Freedom Brigade (Ahrar al-Iraq Brigade) claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on the “Zelikan” base in northern Iraq on Saturday night. As the news agency “AAA” directed, citing the Iraqi media, the Iraqi Ahrar Brigade announced that it attacked this military base with 4 122-mm missiles in Mosul province.
Turkish forces are based at the Zelikan base in the Bashiqa region, northeast of Mosul, the capital of northern Iraq’s Nineveh province. Iraqi government and leaders have repeatedly called on Turkey to end its occupation in northern Iraq and withdraw its forces. They repeatedly called air and artillery attacks by the Turkish army on northern Iraq a violation of their country’s sovereignty and called for their end.