Turkey threatens army operation in northeast Syria imminent

Published October 5, 2019, 6:52 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By the Associated Press 

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s president is threatening to launch a solo military operation into northeastern Syria, saying the Turkish army is ready to move against U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces “maybe today, maybe tomorrow.”

A Turkish n armored vehicles patrol as they conduct a joint ground patrol with American forces in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria, Friday, Oct.4, 2019. The patrols are part of a deal reached between Turkey and the United States to ease tensions between the allies over the presence of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters in the area. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad / MANILA BULLETIN)
A Turkish n armored vehicles patrol as they conduct a joint ground patrol with American forces in the so-called “safe zone” on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria, Friday, Oct.4, 2019. The patrols are part of a deal reached between Turkey and the United States to ease tensions between the allies over the presence of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters in the area. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad / MANILA BULLETIN)

Speaking Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded an answer from NATO-ally the U.S. on where it stands regarding the Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Turkey views the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, as an extension of a Kurdish insurgency within its own borders, and expects the U.S. to stop supporting them. The group forms the backbone of U.S.-backed Syrian forces against the Islamic State group.

Erdogan said the U.S. had not followed through with promised plans to run joint patrols in the border area, and to establish a so-called safe zone to push the Kurdish fighters away from Turkey’s borders.

 
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