Turkey ‘ends’ Euphrates Shield campaign in Syria

Ankara, Turkey says it has “successfully” ended its seven-month Euphrates Shield military campaign in northern Syria.

But Prime Minister Binali Yildirim did not rule out new military operations and did not say whether Turkish troops would now leave Syria.

Turkey launched the offensive last August to push Islamic State militants away from its border and also to stop the advance of local Kurdish fighters.

Mr Yildirim spoke as the US secretary of state arrived in Turkey.

The Turkish government in Ankara has been angered by the willingness of the US to back Kurdish fighters in Syria.

 Raqqa disagreements

“Operation Euphrates Shield has been successful and is finished. Any operation following this one will have a different name,” Mr Yildirim said after Wednesday’s meeting of the country’s security council.

On 24 August, Turkish troops, tanks and planes crossed the border in what Ankara said was the operation to push back IS militants from a 100km (60 miles) stretch of the border.

The army and Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have captured several towns, including Jarablus, finally moving south to the strategic town of al-Bab.

The Turkish operation was also aimed at preventing the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) from gaining more ground in northern Syria.

Ankara fears this would fuel an insurgency being waged by the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in south-eastern Turkey.

The YPG is regarded by Turkey as a terrorist organisation and an extension of the PKK.

Source- BBC Middle East

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