MİDDLE EAST

80,000 soldiers ready to take part in biggest cross-border op in Turkey’s modern history

The operation east of the Euphrates River is set to be run from headquarters in the southern Turkish provinces of Şanlıurfa and Kilis on the border with Syria

Editor / Internet Yeni Şafak

Close to 80,000 soldiers of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are ready to take part in the biggest cross-border operation in the country’s modern history in Syria’s Manbij and east of the Euphrates regions since the successful Turkish deployment in Cyprus back in 1974.

The operation east of the Euphrates River is set to be run from headquarters in the southern Turkish provinces of Şanlıurfa and Kilis on the border with Syria.

Forty-four years ago, the TAF launched the Cyprus Peace Operation to end the Greek side's oppression and cruelty and to protect the lives and liberty of the island’s Turkish community, with 40,000 Turkish troops deployed to the island.

The operation launched in 1974 under the code-phrase “Ayşe Tatile Çıksın” (Ayşe should go on vacation) stopped the bloodshed on the island.

The deployment will begin along a 500-kilometer-long front from ten different locations, 10 kilometers deep into the border, with the aim of clearing an area of 30,000 square kilometers from terror organizations and put an end to the attempt to form a terror corridor established on Turkey’s southern borders.

The second phase of the attack will involve advancing ten additional kilometers from the border.

The TAF is said to have taken intel and security measures to counter any possible Gulf-backed tribal resistance in regions east of the Euphrates.

As the operation looms, panicked Assad-allied Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists, including so-called “civilian officials” and businessmen, are said to have smuggled their families out of Tal Abyad, Qamishli and Ras al-Ayn.

A possible mission east of the Euphrates, which Turkey’s leadership has been suggesting for months, would follow two successful cross-border Turkish operations into Syria since 2016 – Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch – both meant to eradicate the presence of YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists near Turkey’s borders.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The YPG and PYD are its Syrian extensions.

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