With US making withdrawal plans from Syria, Turkey is eager to fill the vacuum
Ankara, Dec 25: With the US led by President Donald Trump preparing to withdraw from Syria, it's virtually an open field for regional powers like Turkey to play a bigger role and on Tuesday, the country's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, made it evident by saying that Ankara plans to enter the war-torn country's areas lying east to the Euphrates River at the earliest.
"If Turkey says that it will enter Syria, it will be so. We will coordinate the troop withdrawal with the United States. We plan to enter areas east of the Euphrates River as soon as possible," Turkey's TRT TV channel quoted him as saying.
Cavusoglu also said that Turkey is working to ensure that the withdrawal of the American forces did not leave a vacuum in Syria which could be filled in by the terrorist forces.
Turkey's presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin also said earlier that Ankara will coordinate its actions east of the Euphrates River with Russia, the other power which has a considerable influence on the Syrian affairs.
On December 12, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to launch an offensive against the Kurdish People's Protection Units and the Democratic Union Party located on the eastern bank of the Euphrates that Ankara considers to be branches of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. Ankara has already conducted a couple of military operations in Syria as a result of which a buffer zone was set up between the border towns of Jerabulus and Azaz while it seized the Afrin region populated by the Kurds.