Turkey said today, Thursday, that its military operations on its southern borders have a security dimension and do not pose any threat to the sovereignty of neighboring countries.

The meeting comes on the heels of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement on Monday that his country will soon launch new military operations on its southern borders to combat what he described as terrorist threats by expanding the safe zone to a depth of 30 km.

"The operations carried out now and in the future to eliminate the terrorist threat on our southern borders do not target the territorial integrity of neighboring countries or sovereignty in any way," Turkey's National Security Council said after a meeting chaired by Erdogan.

Any operations in northern Syria, where Turkey has launched several incursions since 2016, are expected to target the US-backed Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Ankara considers the YPG to be part of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency in the southeast of the country since 1984. Ankara classifies the two groups as terrorist organizations.

But the YPG is a key component of the Kurdish-led coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces, on which the United States has largely relied in fighting Islamic State.

It is noteworthy that the Turkish army has been carrying out an operation in northern Iraq since mid-April, targeting PKK sites.

Keywords: