By News Center
'If someone disturbs Turkish land, Ankara will make them pay
price,' Erdogan says after a recent air operation in northern Iraq
President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signaled a ground
operation in northern Iraq and northern Syria to eliminate terror
'First, this operation in northern Iraq and northern Syria is
not an operation that was carried out with random thought, by
saying 'who would say what?' or 'how would that happen?'
'As we have said before if someone disturbs our country and
lands, we will make them pay the price. So, there are terrorist
organizations in our southern border that are planning numerous
attacks or that carry out such attacks and pose a threat (to
Turkiye),' Erdogan told reporters on Sunday on his way back to
Ankara from Qatar.
Erdogan's remarks came after Turkiye launched early Sunday the
Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the
terror group YPG/PKK that has illegal hideouts across the Iraqi and
Syrian borders, where they plan attacks on Turkish soil.
'This is not limited to just an air operation,' Erdogan
stressed, adding that the relevant units will do their
consultations and take steps accordingly.
Turkiye's air operation followed last Sunday's terror attack on
Istanbul's crowded Istiklal Avenue that killed at least six people
and left 81 injured.
The Turkish National Defense Ministry said the operation was
carried out in line with the right to self-defense under Article 51
of the UN Charter. Erdogan added that nearly 70 jets, including
armed drones, took part in the operation and added that a total of
89 terror targets, including shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, and
ammunition depots were destroyed.
'At this point, 45 terrorist targets at a depth of approximately
140 km in northern Iraq, and 44 targets at a depth of about 20 km
(12 miles) in Syria were hit,' he added.
Asked if Turkiye talked about this operation with Russia and the
USA, Erdogan said.
'We have not had any conversations with (US President Joe) Biden
or (Russian President Vladimir) Putin regarding this operation.
However, both Biden and Putin already know that we can do such
things in this region at any time.'
Erdogan recalled the Sochi deal between Turkiye and Russia to
remove YPG/PKK terrorists from northeastern Syria bordering
'They had the responsibility to clear the terrorists from the
area. Unfortunately, even though we reminded them many times, over
and over, they did not take heed of our calls.
'We said that we would not remain silent against this and that
we would take steps against the terrorists there if they could not
do it,' he said.
Against this backdrop, Turkiye last Sunday hit 12 terrorist
targets in Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria.
Turkiye is with the USA in NATO, Erdogan said, noting, however,
that Washington has unfortunately sent thousands of equipment,
ammunition, and weapons to the zone of terror in Syria.
During his talks with Biden in Indonesia, Erdogan said: 'I told
him that 'we are together with you in NATO, we are two important
allies. Since such a threat came to us from the south, you are
putting us in trouble by giving support to the terrorist
organizations there. Of course, we cannot live with these problems.
When necessary, we will have to give the necessary answer to them.'
Of course, they can't say anything. We have done what is necessary
at this point, we are doing it, and we will continue to do so.'
In its more than 35-year-long terror campaign against Turkiye,
the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the USA,
and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of over 40,000
people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the
terror group's Syrian offshoot.
Erdogan briefly met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
on the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar which attracted
great attention since the relations have been tense since 2013.
'We said that a process can begin. A step has been taken here to
start such a process and we had the talks. It is my hope that we
want to move the process that started with our ministers to a good
point later, hopefully to the high-level meetings,' Erdogan
The unity of the Turkish nation and the Egyptian people in the
past is very important to Turkiye, Erdogan said, adding: 'Why not
again, why not start again? We gave a signal.'
He added Turkiye expects Egypt to establish peace together
against those who take a stand against them in the
Diplomatic relations between Turkiye and Egypt are maintained at
the level of charges d'affaires on both sides since Egypt's 2013
military coup which overthrew the late President Mohammed
Erdogan said he also met with UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres in Qatar, where they briefly discussed the Black Sea grain
He reiterated Putin's offer of sending grain to underdeveloped
'We even made such a plan that we buy the wheat if necessary,
turn it into flour in Turkiye, and then send it to underdeveloped
countries,' he added.
Last week, a landmark grain deal, signed in Istanbul in July by
Turkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine, was extended for another 120
days allowing Ukraine to export its agricultural products from
Black Sea ports.
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