Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkish attacks on Syria are “legitimate”, that he will do whatever is necessary regardless of territorial borders, and signalled that Turkey’s cross- border aerial operations may extend to ground offensives.
Erdoğan made a speech on 22 November in Artvin city of Turkey addressing the recent military operations into north and east Syria that have caused more than two dozen deaths.
“It is our most legitimate right to go where the security issues start,” said Erdoğan, and referring to the US and Russia added, “Those who come from thousands of kilometres away and use force recklessly should understand this right of ours.”
“In places where attacks on our borders and our citizens are still continuing, no one can prevent or oppose us drawing a line as far as it should be,” added Erdoğan.
Erdoğan answered journalists’ questions about ‘Operation Claw-Sword’ when returning to Turkey from Qatar on 21 November, reported Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency.
The President signalled that the Claw-Sword air operation against northeast Syria and north Iraq could continue with a ground offensive. “It is out of the question for the operations to be limited to just an air campaign,” Erdoğan told the journalists.
Asked about allegations that Russia opened areas under its control to Turkish Armed Forces, Erdoğan answered, “This operation in the north of Iraq and Syria is not a random operation.”
Following these words, Turkish ground forces have been shelling new oil field today in Al-Hasakah where no casualties have been reported yet, reported UK-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
“A joint base north of Hasakeh used for planning and executing joint operations against the Islamic State group (ISIS) has been hit by a Turkish drone,” SDF spokesman Farhad Shami, told AFP.
Although U.S. forces “were not in danger” during the strike, A U.K.-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed that two SDF fighters were killed.