Syria war: Turkey warns of fresh anti-Kurd offensive in north

Turkish soldiers stand near armoured vehicles as a man waves a Turkish national flag during a demonstration in support of the Turkish army's Idlib operation near the Turkey-Syria border near Reyhanli, Hatay, on 10 October 2017Symbol copyright
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Turkey will release a brand new operation towards US-backed Kurdish militias in northern Syria “in the following few days”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

The transfer, which he mentioned would center of attention on territory to the east of the Euphrates river, dangers disagreement with america.

The united states’s give a boost to for the Kurdish YPG forces has strained family members with Turkey, which considers the YPG to be a part of a terrorist workforce.

Turkey has introduced two offensives towards the Kurds in Syria since 2016.

The Kurdish Other folks’s Coverage Gadgets (YPG) lately controls massive swathes of the north-east of Syria on Turkey’s southern border.

  • Why the struggle for northern Syria issues
  • Who’re the Kurds?

What did President Erdogan say?

“We will be able to get started the operation to transparent the east of the Euphrates from separatist terrorists in a couple of days,” Mr Erdogan mentioned on a televised speech on Wednesday, regarding territory held through the YPG.

He didn’t specify which spaces could be centered, however it will be the first time Turkish troops have moved east of the river.

“Our goal is rarely US squaddies,” he added.

Turkey considers the YPG an extension of the banned Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in south-eastern Turkey for 3 many years.

Mr Erdogan needs to forestall the Kurds from consolidating their grasp on Syrian territory and forming an independent area at the border.

What is the context?

US squaddies had been operating carefully with Kurdish forces who shape a part of an alliance – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – within the struggle towards the Islamic State (IS) workforce. Turkey has lengthy criticised this US coverage.

Tensions between the 2 aspects have risen in contemporary weeks. Turkey says it’s pissed off over what it sees as delays to a deal agreed with america to transparent a flashpoint town within the north of Kurdish combatants.

The deal over Manbij, which lies to the west of the Euphrates river, used to be agreed in February in a bid stabilise the area.

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Media captionWhy is Turkey attacking Syria? Mark Lowen explains

And on Tuesday, the Pentagon introduced it had erected remark posts within the northern border area geared toward combating clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish combatants.

Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has referred to as on america to scrap the transfer and finish its co-operation with the YPG.

In past due October, Turkey shelled Kurdish military posts in northern Syria, forcing the SDF to in brief droop its operations towards IS.

  • Why is there a struggle in Syria?

What has Turkey already completed in Syria?

Turkey has introduced two main offensives lately in northern Syria. Each happened west of the Euphrates river.

The primary – dubbed Euphrates Protect – started in the summertime of 2016 and used to be an eight-month operation focused on IS and Kurdish forces that resulted in March 2017.

Previous this yr they introduced a 2nd army operation – Olive Department – towards Kurdish military in Afrin province. It lasted two months and the town used to be sooner or later cleared of the Kurds.

On the other hand Turkish forces have till now have shyed away from direct disagreement with Kurdish combatants and their US backers positioned at the east of the Euphrates river.

  • How historic Afrin was a prize price a struggle
  • Truth Test: Turkey claims on Afrin assaults

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