Turkish President Erdogan reiterates threat to occupy additional areas in North and East Syria

ANKARA — In a renewed display of antagonism, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again issued threats to occupy territories within the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). Following a meeting with government ministers, Erdogan, in a pointed speech, hinted at future plans to occupy Tel Rifaat in the northern countryside of Holeb (Aleppo) and other areas in northern Syria.

Erdogan stated that he will not allow countries that support “terrorist organizations” on Turkey’s southern borders to implement their plans, stressing his refusal to establish a structure in this form on the southern borders.

His statement echoes the pattern of threats made in the lead-up to the invasion and occupation of Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) and Tel Abyad in 2019.

Erdogan’s recurrent warnings of potential new territorial occupations in North and East Syria are a persistent source of tension in the region.