After airstrikes: Erdogan is considering ground offensives against Kurdish militias
Turkey has launched airstrikes in northern Iraq and Syria. The head of state retaliated. Now Erdogan apparently also wants to send ground troops into the field against Kurdish militias.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also considering ground offensives after airstrikes on Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq. There is no question that one is not limited to air operations, “a decision must be made on how many forces from the ground forces have to participate, and then steps are taken,” Erdogan said, according to the state news agency Anadolu on Monday. He wasn’t more specific.
Turkey took action against the YPG and the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK on Sunday night with numerous airstrikes in northern Iraq and northern Syria. At least 35 people were killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Kurdish militias had announced retaliation. On Sunday and Monday, Turkey reported shelling with dead and injured on the border with Syria.
Erdogan’s retaliatory attack
Erdogan said the offensive had not been discussed in advance with either the United States or Russia, and that Turkey did not have to obtain permission. Moscow and Washington had previously warned Ankara against an offensive in northern Syria. Erdogan had already announced such an offensive in the middle of the year. Russia is supporting government troops in the Syrian civil war, while the United States sees the YPG as a partner in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia.
The Turkish government linked its airstrikes to an attack on Istanbul’s Istiklal shopping street a week ago on Sunday. She sees the YPG and PKK as masterminds behind the attack, both of whom had rejected it. The investigations in Turkey are still ongoing. The Turkish government classifies the YPG and PKK as terrorist organizations.