Ankara: Turkey will drive the Kurdish YPG militia away from the Syrian border if it does not reach agreement with the United States on a plan to remove the group from Syria’s Manbij region, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
“If this plan is not realised, the only option left will be clearing away terrorists. This is not just valid for Syria, but also for Iraq,” he said in interview with state-run Anadolu news agency.
He added that President Tayyip Erdogan and President Donald Trump will speak by telephone on Thursday.
On Thursday, Turkey’s state-run news agency said military jets attacked suspected Kurdish rebel camps across the border in northern Iraq, in an operation that reportedly “neutralised” nine militants.
Anadolu Agency said the attack occurred early Thursday after drones detected a group of militants allegedly preparing to launch an attack against Turkey.
Turkey regularly targets the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in northern Iraq, where they maintain bases.
Anadolu said some 50 PKK rebels were killed or wounded in such operations since March 10.
Turkey said this week that its military may mount an offensive against the PKK in Iraq’s Sinjar region if the Iraqi government doesn’t act against the group, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey and its allies.
Turkey says Sinjar has turned into a PKK headquarters.