Turkish President Erdogan instructed to close “30 km gap” on border with Syria in 2023
In 2023, Turkey will take new steps to “close the gap” on the border with Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during his speech after the Cabinet meeting. His words were quoted by the head of state’s press service.
“Next year, we will continue to steadily implement our strategy to eradicate security terrorism on all our southern borders. In particular, we will take new steps to close gaps in our 30-kilometer security line to completely eliminate threats to our country from Syria,” Erdoğan said.
He specified that Ankara will move to “a new phase of the fight to destroy all the resources and infrastructure that the terrorist organization receives in addition to weapons.”
On November 20, Turkey launched the military operation “Sword Claw” against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization) in northern Syria and Iraq. A week earlier, there had been a terrorist attack in Istanbul, for which Turkey blamed the Kurds. The PKK denied any involvement in the attack.
As part of the operation, Turkey carried out air strikes on Kurdish-controlled areas. Ankara called the operation to prevent terrorist attacks against Turkish citizens and ensure border security.
In mid-December, Erdogan announced the possible start of a ground operation in Syria to “fight terrorism. He called its goal the creation of a 30-kilometer security line. According to him, Ankara would like to establish cooperation with Moscow and Damascus in this matter. On December 15, Erdogan suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a trilateral meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow was positive about the Turkish president’s proposal.