After a series of attacks, Turkey called for an end to its offensive in Syria

Washington and Moscow on Tuesday called on Ankara for restraint after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly threatened to launch a ground operation “soon” against Kurdish militant positions in northern Syria. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been threatening a new offensive in these areas since May. But the November 13 attack in Istanbul (six dead and 81 injured) was blamed on Kurdish fighters from the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and YPG (People’s Protection Units).

“We flew over the terrorists for a few days with our aircraft and our drones. God willing, we will soon eliminate them with our soldiers, our guns and our tanks,” the head of state said on Tuesday during a speech in the country’s northeast. Turkey’s air force launched Operation Sword Claw on Sunday. , which launched a series of airstrikes against 89 PKK and YPG positions in northern Iraq and Syria, killing nearly 40 people in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH).

On Tuesday, a new Turkish drone strike targeted a joint base of Kurdish forces and the US-led International Anti-Jihad Coalition in Syria, about 25 kilometers north of the city of Hassakeh, a spokesman said. Kurdish forces and the OSDH said two Kurdish fighters were killed in the latest attack.

read more: “We will do everything to protect our people”: Syrian Kurdistan prepares for a major offensive

Drone attack

“We responded to this heinous attack that claimed the lives of six innocent people, including children, by destroying terrorist organizations in Iraq and northern Syria,” the Turkish president stressed on Tuesday. We know who arms and who inspires terrorists. “There is no question that this operation is limited to an air operation,” the head of state warned earlier in the day, referring to “consultations” to decide (which) should be engaged by our ground forces. southeast) killed a child and a young teacher. “We will pay those who disturb us in our territory,” Erdogan warned.

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The Turkish president’s statements worried Washington and Moscow, which called for restraint. The two countries are embroiled in a war in Syria that has claimed almost half a million lives since 2011. “We call for de-escalation in Syria to protect civilians and support the common goal of defeating ISIS,” he pleaded Monday evening. US State Department Demand Price. “We continue to oppose any concerted military action in Iraq that violates sovereignty. [du pays]”, he added in a press release.

“Danger of Destabilization”

The US has backed Syria’s main Kurdish militia, the YPG, in their fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, allowing them to regain control of Kobani in 2015. Russia “believes” that Turkey will be “restrained” and protected “against anyone”. The use of excessive force in Syria. “We understand Turkey’s concerns about its own security (…) but at the same time, we call on all parties to refrain from any initiative that could lead to a serious destabilization of the overall situation,” the Russian spokesman said. President, Dmitry Peskov.

On Monday, Berlin and Paris respectively called on Ankara to act in a “proportionate” way and “show more restraint”. In response, Turkey on Tuesday demanded that its allies, led by the United States, “cease all support” for the YPG militia, which it considers terrorists. “We assure all our interlocutors, especially the US, that the YPG is equal to the PKK. [reconnu comme terroriste par la Turquie et ses alliĆ©s occidentaux, NDLR]and we forcefully request them to stop all support for terrorists,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar insisted on Tuesday. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance dominated by the YPG, said on Tuesday it was concentrating its efforts on “de-escalation”.

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Between 2016 and 2019, Turkey launched three major operations against Kurdish militias and organizations in northern Syria. Ankara wants to create a 30km wide “security zone” along its southern border. With the approach of the presidential and legislative elections of June 2023, the conditions are met for a particularly serious offensive against the PKK / YPG, assesses independent analyst Anthony Skinner, who recalls that President Erdogan has already used the “security card”. Previous elections.

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