Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called the programme ‘successful’ and said any more operations in the war-torn country would be conducted under a different name.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Wednesday said the country had ended military operation “Euphrates Shield” against the Islamic State in Syria. Since the launch of the operation in August 2016, Ankara had deployed several troops, tanks and warplanes to assist Free Syrian Army rebels. Calling the programme successful, Yildrim said any more operations in the region will be held under a different name, Reuters reported.
The operation also aimed at curbing the influence of Kurdish insurgents in the area. During the operation, Turkey seized control of Jarablus on the Euphrates river and pushed the Islamic State group away from a 100-kilometre border stretch. They even moved south towards the extremist group’s stronghold of al-Bab. “Everything is under control,” the prime minister said of the situation in al-Bab, the news agency reported.
Yildirim did not specify if the troops would withdraw from their post, BBC reported.
Turkey is worried that a movement by Syrian Kurds would lead to a self-governing region similar to an autonomous rule secured by Kurds in Iraq and thereby influence the Kurdish minority within its own territory to initiate a similar rule. Turkey has criticised the United States and Russia’s collaboration with the Syrian YPG, which it considers to be an extension of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK.
Turkey, the United States and European Union have listed the PKK as a terrorist organisation. The outfit has been blamed for a number of attacks that have taken place in the country since the decades-long ceasefire between it and the government collapsed in July.