Turkey will launch a new operation against US-subsidized Kurdish militias in northern Syria “in the next few days”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.
The move, which he mentioned would do something about territory to the east of the Euphrates river, risks confrontation with the u.s..
America’s strengthen for the Kurdish YPG forces has strained relations with Turkey, which considers the YPG to be a part of a terrorist workforce.
Turkey has launched two offensives in opposition to the Kurds in Syria when you consider that 2016.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Gadgets (YPG) currently controls large swathes of the north-east of Syria on Turkey’s southern border.
“Our objective is rarely US infantrymen,” he delivered. There are a few 2,000 US troops currently in Syria, lots of them stationed within the north.
Turkey considers the YPG an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in south-eastern Turkey for 3 decades.
Mr Erdogan desires to prevent the Kurds from consolidating their hold on Syrian territory and forming an autonomous area on the border.
US infantrymen had been running carefully with Kurdish forces who shape a part of an alliance – the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – within the battle towards the Islamic State (IS) group. Turkey has long criticised this US policy.
Tensions between the two aspects have risen in contemporary weeks. Turkey says it is pissed off over what it sees as delays to a deal agreed with the united states to transparent a flashpoint town within the north of Kurdish combatants.
The deal over Manbij, which lies to the west of the Euphrates river, was agreed in February in a bid stabilise the region.
Media captionWhy is Turkey attacking Syria? Mark Lowen explains
And on Tuesday, the Pentagon announced it had erected observation posts in the northern border area aimed at preventing clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish combatants.
Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has known as on the US to scrap the transfer and end its co-operation with the YPG.
In late October, Turkey shelled Kurdish armed forces posts in northern Syria, forcing the SDF to in brief suspend its operations in opposition to IS.
Why is there a struggle in Syria?
Turkey has launched top offensives in recent years in northern Syria. Both came about west of the Euphrates river.
The first – dubbed Euphrates Protect – started in the summer of 2016 and used to be an 8-month operation targeting IS and Kurdish forces that ended in March 2017.
Earlier this year they launched a second military operation – Olive Branch – against Kurdish armed forces in Afrin province. It lasted two months and town was eventually cleared of the Kurds.
However Turkish forces have formerly have shyed away from direct war of words with Kurdish combatants and their US backers located at the east of the Euphrates river.
How ancient Afrin become a prize worth a warfare Fact Test: Turkey claims on Afrin attacks