ANKARA (Sputnik) — Ankara will continue its Euphrates Shield military operation in northern Syria until the threat posed by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants operating in the area is eliminated, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
"We will fight against the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria's Jarabulus, Iraq's Bashiqa and, if it is necessary, in other places. We are equally resolute regarding PYD. Our operation in northern Syria will continue until we eradicate the roots of this separatist terrorist organization," Erdogan said at a rally in Gaziantep in the southeast of Turkey.
Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) collapsed over a series of terrorist attacks, allegedly committed by PKK members. Ankara considers PYD an affiliate of PKK, which is outlawed in Turkey.