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Erdogan Says Turkey Planning 'New Operations' In Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is planning new offensives this spring against groups deemed terrorist groups by Ankara.

Ankara announced last week the end of Euphrates Shield, an operation launched in August against Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurdish militia groups operating in the Turkish border region.

But Erdogan said more cross-border operations would follow against groups like the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Kurdish units known as People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The YPG is an ally of the United States in the fight against IS fighters in Syria, but is seen by Turkey as a terror group and the Syrian branch of the PKK.

"We are making preparations for new operations in other regions to get to terrorists on their hills," Erdogan said on April 3.

He did not specify where the new operations could take place.

U.S. plans for a joint operation with Turkey to capture the de facto IS capital of Raqqa in Syria have faltered over Washington's support for the involvement of the YPG.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa