'Turkey could take needed steps east of Euphrates'

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – Following two major anti-terror operations in Syria, Turkey’s president warned on Tuesday that Turkey could also take decisive steps against the PKK/YPG terrorist presence east of the Euphrates River.

"If the necessary steps are not taken [by the U.S.] to the east of the Euphrates [against PKK/YPG] … we will take the necessary steps at the highest level," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his party's parliamentary group.

Erdogan said that Turkey would take measures in the area "not only for the peace of our country but also for the people living in this region."

"Up to now, Turkey has determinedly taken steps, and it will continue to do so," he added, referring to Turkey's cross-border operations in Syria since 2016 — Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch — meant to rid border areas of terrorist groups such as the PKK/PYD.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken 40,000 lives, including many women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.