Erdogan Again Hints at Offensive Against Kurdish Forces in Syria
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to consolidate security lines on Turkey’s southern border with Syria, his latest hint of a potential offensive against American-backed Kurdish forces there.
“Turkey will defend its rights in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, will build the Istanbul Canal, and will merge its security lines across border,” Erdogan said Saturday in the western province of Canakkale.
Turkey aims to capture land inside war-torn Syria, just across its border, to control an area that can be used to keep back YPG militants.
Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist group affiliated with Kurdish separatist group the PKK, which the Turkish military has been battling for more than three decades. PKK is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union.
Turkey deployed hundreds more troops in northern Syria in preparation for a long-suspended offensive against American-backed Kurdish forces, two officials told Bloomberg in late October, after Erdogan signaled he was planning a new campaign in the wake of a spate of attacks by Kurdish YPG forces.
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