Erdoğan again hints at offensive targeting Kurdish Forces in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday vowed to consolidate security lines on Turkey’s southern border with Syria in a reiteration of plans for a potential military offensive against Kurdish forces in the war-torn country.

Erdoğan made the remarks during an opening ceremony in the western province of Canakkale, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Noting that Turkey would defend its rights in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas and build the Istanbul Canal, Erdoğan said Ankara would “merge its security lines across border.’’

Erdoğan has launched four military interventions against the Kurdish-led, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria, resulting in a growing zone of Turkish control inside the war-torn country. 

Turkey sees the SDF, which controls enclaves in northeast Syria along the Turkish border, as an existential threat due to its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for Kurdish self-rule for four decades.

Last month, the Turkish leader vowed to to take military action in Syria following an attack blamed on Kurdish forces that left two Turkish police officers dead. 

Erdoğan on Saturday also vowed to complete the Istanbul Canal, a 45-kilometer (28-mile) waterway project set to link the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which has come under criticism from the opposition, academics and environmentalists.

“We are going to eliminate all of the traps set before us and become of the top 10 economies in the world,’’ the Turkish president said.

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.