ANKARA, September 21. /TASS/. Turkey has finished preparations for a military operation in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a news conference on Saturday ahead of his departure to New York.
In New York Erdogan will attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
"We have finished preparations [for a possible operation] along the border. We do not want confrontation with the United States [in Syria], but we cannot ignore their support to terrorist organizations," the president said.
"I told [US President Donald] Trump that [Washington] had funneled thousands of trucks loaded with arms. We were not able to buy those arms for money, but you are giving them to terrorist groups for free," Erdogan added.
Erdogan bashed the United States’ support to the Syrian Democratic Forces.
"Currently, the region is almost completely retaken from the Daesh terrorists (an Arabic-language acronym for the Islamic State terrorist group, which is outlawed in Russia - TASS)," he stated. "However, you have invented a new group called the Syrian Democratic Forces. In fact, it does not differ in any way from the Self-Defense Forces and Democratic Union."
Ankara views the Self-Defense Forces as a Syrian affiliate of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
On August 7, the Turkish and US militaries agreed to set up a joint operations center in Syria to create a buffer zone in north Syria. On August 12, a first group of US service members arrived in the Turkish city of Sanliurfa province, some 50 kilometers from the Syrian border. The safe area is planned to accommodate Syrian refugees returning from Turkey and to protect the Turkish border. Ankara insists its forces should have control over the zone.