Ankara called time on Turkey’s military campaign in northern Syria on Wednesday, with the country’s national security council declaring the offensive had “concluded successfully.”
However, it is unclear whether that conclusion entails a complete end to military operations or a withdrawal of Turkish troops from the country, AFP reports.
Speaking on Turkey’s private NTV television, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim did not rule out further offensives: “Euphrates Shield is over. A potential operation from now if needed will take another name,” Yildirim said, using the name accorded to the year and a half long military campaign.
“From now on if there is anything that threatens our security, either Daesh or any other [group] and if we take another action, that will be a new operation,” he added. Daesh is an alternative name for the Islamic State (ISIS).
Turkey’s operation Euphrates Shield targeted both ISIS militants and Syrian Kurdish militia fighters that Ankara deems terrorists.
The operation has resulted in the expunging of militants from Syrian towns including Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Dabiq — which is of symbolic importance to ISIS — and the strategic town of Al-Bab, where Turkey endured heavy casualties.