Turkey has the fitting to behave if militants should not free of the Syrian border: Erdogan

© Reuters. Turkish President Erdogan greets members of his ruling AKP during a meeting in Ankara

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey has the legitimate right to act again if the militants are not cleared from its border with Syria, where it has carried out several raids over the past four years.

“If the terrorists are not resolved here as promised, we have the legitimate right to mobilize again,” said Erdogan in a speech to the legislators of his AK party in parliament.

In an offensive a year ago, Turkey, with the support of Syrian rebels, seized a 120 km long border area in northeast Syria from the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organization.

This incursion was widely condemned by Ankara’s western allies as the YPG was the main part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that helped the United States defeat the Islamic State.

Erdogan also expressed concern over the situation in northwest Syria’s Idlib region, where fierce fighting between Syrian government forces and Turkey-backed rebels took place until Ankara and Moscow reached a ceasefire agreement in March.

At least 35 people were killed and many injured in air strikes on a camp in northwest Syria operated by Turkey-backed rebel fighters, a war monitor and rebel source said.

“The attack by Russia on the armed forces of the Syrian national army (supported by Turkey) in the Idlib region shows that a lasting peace in the region is not desired,” said Erdogan.

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