AIWA! NO!|Turkey has made all necessary preparations for the biggest cross-border operation in the country’s history, into Syria’s Manbij and east of the Euphrates river, pro-government daily Yeni Şafak reported on Monday.
Some 80,000 Turkish soldiers are ready for the new operation in areas controlled by the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), according to the news outlet.
This is double the number of troops required in the 1974 military offensive to take control of northern Cyprus, which still stands as Turkey’s biggest cross-border operation.
Ankara has vowed to clear Manbij and east of Euphrates river region of YPG, which Turkey views as a terrorist group and a threat to its territorial integrity, however, announced a delay to the offensive following the U.S. withdrawal from war-torn Syria announcement on Dec. 19.
“The Turkish Armed Forces will start to clear the areas on the east to the Euphrates River of terrorists at the right time for Ankara, as they had done before in other regions of Syria,” Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Jan. 11 said.