02 Temmuz 2024 Salı
Ana sayfa » Turkey will not deploy its own infantry in Syria – Minister

Turkey will not deploy its own infantry in Syria – Minister

Turkey will not deploy its own infantry in Syria to retake the northern city of al-Bab from jihadists but it will use Ankara-backed Syrian rebels, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said on Wednesday.

“Our current planning is that we will conduct the operation with fighters of the Free Syrian Army [FSA]. Thus, we do not plan to join this operation with our own infantries” Işık said.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24, with its own troops and the FSA. It aimed to rid northern Syria, with which Turkey has a long border, of the Islamic State (IS), the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG).

Turkey helped liberate Syria’s Jarablus and al-Rai from IS within the scope of this operation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday, al-Bab was the next target within the scope of the anti-IS operation that Turkey launched around one month ago.

Al-Bab lies around 30 kilometers away from the Elbeyli district of Turkey’s Kilis province.

One day later, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour that al-Bab and Raqqa, IS’s self-declared capital, would be the next targets to recapture.

Işık said on Sept. 21 that Turkey would continue with the operation “until it guarantees its own security,” adding that Ankara’s aspiration was for the FSA and the “moderate opposition” clear out IS and the YPG.

A report emerged earlier in the day stating that Turkey would deploy its own combatant infantries of the Turkish Land Forces in Syria, which would accompany Turkish special forces and artillery for the operation to retake al-Bab.

Forces taking part in the Euphrates Shied Operation with the aim to liberate al-Bab would be enforced with the inclusion of various combatant infantries, daily Hürriyet reported on Wednesday, citing security sources speaking on condition of anonymity.

“In order to go down as far as al-Bab, a more extensive land force is a must. Land forces are included in the operation plans,” the source was quoted as saying. Currently Turkish special forces commandoes, fighter jets and tanks contribute to the Euphrates Shield operation.

Kemal Atlan – Hakan Türktan / Eskişehir – DHA