Turkey Threatens Military Operation in Syrian Kurdish Areas

Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a third anniversary commemoration rally at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul on July 15, 2019. - Turkey commemorates, on July 15, 2019 the third anniversary of a coup attempt which was followed by a series of purges in the public sector and …
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The Algemeiner reports:  Turkey will mount a military operation in northeast Syria, it said on Saturday, after accusing Washington of not doing enough to expel Syrian Kurdish fighters from its border. The air and ground operation east of the Euphrates river in Syria could start at any time, President Tayyip Erdogan said.

The US-backed force which controls the region, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the Kurdish YPG militia, said it wanted stability but vowed to respond to any attack. “We will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to defend ourselves and our people,” SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said.

NATO allies Ankara and Washington agreed in August to set up a zone in northeast Syria along the border with Turkey, which considers the YPG a terrorist organization linked to Kurdish insurgents at home. Turkey has accused the United States, which helped the YPG defeat Islamic State militants in Syria, of moving too slowly to create the zone. They are at odds over how far it should extend into Syria and who should control it.

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