Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened new military operations in two places in northern Syria on Wednesday. The actions are said to be aimed at Kurdish fighters who are labelled as terrorists by Ankara.
“We are entering a new phase in establishing a 30-kilometre safety zone along our southern border. We are going to evict Tell Rifat and Mambij,” Erdogan told parliament.
The Turkish president already threatened last weekend with a military operation against fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Turkey “will not wait for permission” from the US to launch a new offensive in Syria, it said at the time.
The YPG is regarded by Turkey as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK and thus as a terrorist. The militia did play a major role in the United States-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Syria.