No establishment of new state in northern Syria: Erdogan

Istanbul: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Saturday not to allow a new state to be established in northern Syria.

“We will never allow the founding of this kind of state,” the President was quoted by Turkish press as saying to Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board in Istanbul.

Erdogan also reiterated a call for the establishment of a “terror-free safe zone” in northern Syria for the safety of Turkey’s southeastern border provinces.

Ankara launched a military operation on August 24 in northern Syria mainly to prevent the Syrian Kurds from uniting their cantons for an autonomous region, or worse, an independent state, which Turkey fears might set a precedent for its own Kurds.

Turkish forces and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels have been fighting lately to take the northern Syrian city of al-Bab from the Islamic State, an operation Erdogan said on Friday was “almost” coming to an end.