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Turkey's operation in Syria could happen in 'upcoming months': Erdogan

The Turkish president’s comments come after the top Turkish diplomat leveled rare public criticism at Russia. 
 Turkey-backed Syrian fighter sits at a position on the outskirts of the town of Marea.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday hinted that his country might launch in coming months a new ground incursion in northern Syria against the US-allied, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“We will not be at ease as long as there are bloody-handed murderers in Iraq and Syria,” Erdogan said, speaking after a cabinet meeting in Ankara, in reference to Kurdish militants in northern Iraq and Syrian Kurdish groups controlling the parts of northern Syria. “God willing in the upcoming months, we will certainly take new steps in this direction regardless of who says what,” he added in a thinly veiled reference to Russian and American objections. Over the past three years Moscow and Washington have worked to pressure and deter Ankara from carrying out a fresh ground operation in Syria. 

His comments come amid ongoing large-scale airstrikes by Turkey against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq and US-allied SDF positions in northern Syria, in retaliation for the killing of nine Turkish soldiers last week. 

He also criticized the United States and Russia for failing to keep their "promises" to Turkey. 

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