Erdogan: Turkey may start a ground operation in Syria

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey may launch a ground operation in Syria following deadly strikes by Ankara and Kurdish militants in northern Syria.

“There is no doubt that this operation will be limited to an air operation only,” Erdogan told reporters after returning to Turkey from Qatar.

“The competent authorities, our Ministry of Defense and the Chief of Staff will together decide the level of force to be used by our ground forces,” Erdogan said.

“We have already warned that we will pay those who violate our territory,” he said.

Erdogan spoke after at least three people, including a child, were killed in a Turkish border town in a strike from Syrian territory.

The strikes came a day after Turkey carried out airstrikes on bases of outlawed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria and Iraq, which it said were being used to carry out “terrorist” attacks on Turkish soil.

At least 31 people were killed in overnight raids in northern and northeastern Syria, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. They mainly opposed the positions of the Syrian Kurds.

The offensive, code-named Operation Sword Claw, came a week after an explosion in central Istanbul killed six people and injured 81 in an attack Turkey blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK has waged a bloody insurgency there for decades and is designated a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies. But he denies his involvement in the explosion in Istanbul. Erdogan: Turkey may start a ground operation in Syria

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