Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to order a land invasion of northern Syria targeting Kurdish groups amid years of border violence and repeated Turkish aggression.
- In recent days, Turkiye has launched airstrikes against targets suspected of being militants in northern Syria and Iraq.
- The strike is in retaliation for the Nov. 13 bombings in Istanbul that the Turkish government blames on Kurdish groups.
- Türkiye has carried out a series of incursions into Syria since 2016
Turkiye has launched a barrage of airstrikes against suspected militant targets in northern Syria and Iraq in retaliation for the November 13 Istanbul bombings that the Turkish government blamed on Kurdish groups.
The group denies any involvement in the bombing, saying the Turkish strike killed civilians and threatened a fight against the Islamic State group.
Ankara’s allies, especially Russia, have sought to avoid a ground invasion. But Erdogan said in an address to his ruling party parliamentarians on Wednesday that the air campaign was “only the beginning.”
He said Turkiye is “determined to close all southern borders…with security strips to prevent possible attacks on our country.”
Türkiye has carried out a series of incursions into Syria since 2016 and already controls parts of northern Syria.
Erdogan said the new military offensive, which will be carried out “at a time most convenient for us”, will target the Tell Rifaat, Manbij and Kobani regions, also known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab. said he would.
“The concrete tunnels that terrorists use for safety will soon become their graves,” he said.
Meanwhile, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeast Syria said his group was ready to repel a Turkish ground invasion.
Self-Defense Forces Chief Mazloum Abdi said his group had been preparing for another such attack since Turkish forces launched a ground attack in the area in 2019.
He said: “We believe we have reached a level where we can stop new attacks.
He added: “If Turkey attacks any area, the war will spread to all areas…and everyone will be hurt by it.”
Following weekend airstrikes, Turkish officials said suspected Kurdish militants fired rockets across the Syrian border into Turkey on Monday, killing at least two people and killing 10. said he was injured.
Abdi denied that the Japanese Self-Defense Forces had carried out an attack on Turkish territory.
Airstrikes near camps where IS militants’ wives and children live
Russia’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, said Turkiye should “show a certain restraint” to prevent escalation in Syria, adding: “We have asked our Turkish partners not to use excessive force on Syrian territory.” It will be possible to persuade them to refrain from exercising.” “.
Abdi called on the US-led coalition fighting IS in Moscow and Damascus, and Syria, to take a stronger stance to stop a Turkish ground invasion, saying such actions could lead to a resurgence of IS. warned that it could harm any attempt to fight.
“We can say that our work against IS with the United Nations has stopped because we are distracted by Turkish attacks,” he said.
“Coordination and work with the Russians on the ground has also been affected by the Turkish attack.”
Late Wednesday, Turkish airstrikes also hit near Al-Hol camp in Hassakeh province, where tens of thousands of wives, widows and children of IS militants are being held.
Officials at the Self-Defense Forces and the camp said the attack appeared to target security forces charged with maintaining security in the crime-ridden camp.
Sheikhmus Ahmad, a Kurdish official who oversees camps for displaced persons in northeast Syria, said some detainees tried to escape.
“Security forces currently have Al-Hol camp under control, but that could change if these attacks continue and detainees may be dispersed in the area,” Ahmad said. Told.
“This would not only threaten our own, but international security as well.”
A spokesperson for U.S. Central Command said one of Tuesday’s Turkish attacks struck within 300 meters of U.S. personnel, adding: “These attacks continue to put U.S. forces at risk.”
He refused to say where the attacked site was.
Turkish airstrikes, which have killed many Syrian soldiers operating in the same area as SDF forces, also threaten to upend early rapprochement between Damascus and Ankara.
The two have been at odds over the civil war in Syria, but have begun low-level talks in recent months.