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GLOBALink | Turkey mulls new military operation in Syria amid NATO expansion impasse

ANKARA, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Turkey is planning a new incursion against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria, a move which comes amid Ankara's reservations about a NATO expansion bid and projects to relocate vast numbers of Syrian refugees.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey would soon launch a military operation in northeastern Syria, in order to extend the Turkish forces' areas of control in Syria to a depth of 30 km along the two countries border.

The zone is also where he hopes to "voluntarily" return about 1 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.

"As I always say, we'll come down on them suddenly one night. And we must," the Turkish leader said on his plane following his visit to Azerbaijan, according to Turkish media.

The threat comes as Erdogan has said Turkey will block Sweden's and Finland's applications to join the NATO military bloc, which were put forth after the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service