Erdogan said Turkey’s military incursion last year dealt a blow to “terrorist projects” in the region and he promised further action.
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Days after a reshuffle of Turkey's top military commanders, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has revived warnings of military action against Kurdish fighters in Syria that could set back the U.S.-led battle against Daesh (ISIS). Kurdish militia are spearheading an assault against the hard-line militants in their Syrian stronghold Raqqa, where Daesh has planned attacks around the world for the past three years. But U.S. backing for the Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria has infuriated Turkey, which views their growing battlefield strength as a security threat due to a decades-old insurgency by the Kurdish PKK within in its borders. Turkey, which has the second-largest army in NATO after the U.S., reinforced that section of the border at the weekend with artillery and tanks, and Erdogan said Turkey was ready to take action.The YPG denies Turkish allegations of links with Kurdish militants inside Turkey, saying it is only interested in self-rule in Syria and warning that any Turkish assault will draw its fighters away from the battle against Daesh that they are waging in an alliance with local Arab forces.Erdogan's comments follow the appointment of three new leaders of Turkey's army, air force and navy last week – moves that analysts and officials said were at least partly aimed at preparing for any campaign against the YPG militia.
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