Erdogan: Afrin operation to be over when target is achieved
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking in Ankara about the country's military operation in Syria’s Afrin region, said that Ankara would not take a step back from the operation.
"We are determined. Afrin will be sorted out. We will take no step back. We spoke about this with our Russian friends. We have an agreement," Erdoğan told a televised meeting in Ankara.
He expressed impatience with demands, including from some US officials, to set a clear timetable for the length of the operation.
According to the President, the operation would be over "when the target is achieved."
"How long have you been in Afghanistan? Is that over in Iraq?" Erdogan said, referring to the current US military presence in those countries.
"There is no maths in such a war. How dare you ask us? We will stay as long as we need, we have no interest in staying there, we know when we will leave," the Daily Sabah cited President Erdogan as saying.
"We struck the first blow against those who want to form a terror corridor along our borders with the Operation Euphrates Shield. It is a matter of eliminating the terror corridor. The US brought 5000 truckloads of military equipment to this region. This was distributed to terror organizations," he said.
He also commented on a missile that hit the Turkish border province of Hatay, threatening that the attackers will pay a “heavy price” for hitting Turkish territory.
Erdogan said Turkey would take control of Afrin, as it had done in the Syrian towns of Jarablus, al-Rai and al-Bab, and that Syrians would be able to return home.