Turkey says Syria military operation to target Tal Rifaat, Manbij | Turkey-Syria Border News

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated Turkey will goal Kurdish armed teams in two northern Syrian cities in an upcoming military operation.

“We’re taking one other step in establishing a 30-kilometre safety zone alongside our southern border. We are going to clear up Tal Rifaat and Manbij of terrorists”, he instructed a gathering of his ruling social gathering in parliament.

Erdogan stated Turkish forces would then proceed, “step-by-step, into different areas”.

The 2 cities, mendacity west of the Euphrates River, are managed by the Syrian Kurdish armed group, the Folks’s Safety Items (YPG).

Ankara considers the YPG a “terrorist” group and says it’s linked to home armed fighters belonging to the Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration (PKK), which Turkey has additionally designated as a “terrorist” organisation. The PKK has waged an armed rebellion towards Turkey since 1984, and tens of hundreds of individuals have died within the battle.

The Turkish authorities has accused the YPG of attacking Turkish safety forces in Syria.

“We are going to see who helps the reliable safety operations carried out by Turkey and who tries to oppose them,” stated Erdogan.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Turkey towards a brand new navy operation and urged Ankara to stay to cease-fire traces established in 2019.

“It’s one thing that we’d oppose,” Blinken instructed a joint information convention with NATO Secretary-Basic Jens Stoltenberg.

“The priority that we have now is that any new offensive would undermine regional stability (and) present malign actors with alternatives to take advantage of instability,” Blinken stated.

Turkey has launched three navy operations into northern Syria since 2016, seizing areas alongside the border in what it says is a bid to safe its frontier from threats from ISIL (ISIS) and the YPG.

The YPG-linked Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) warned {that a} navy operation by Ankara would undermine efforts to fight fighters from the ISIS (ISIL) armed group in northeastern Syria.

“The SDF has been anticipating a attainable battle for some time now,” stated Farhad Shami, a spokesperson for the Kurdish-led power.

“Within the occasion of an assault, we are going to pause our battle towards the Islamic State group [ISIL] and begin navy measures towards the Turkish invasion,” he instructed the AFP information company.

Increasing ‘protected zone’

Erdogan stated over the weekend that Turkey wouldn’t anticipate permission from america earlier than launching such an operation.

Erdogan on Tuesday instructed Russian President Vladimir Putin {that a} 2019 settlement signed between the 2 international locations allowed for the creation of a safety zone alongside the Turkish-Syrian border.

“Its creation is crucial,” Erdogan stated.

He has additionally opposed the latest purposes of Finland and Sweden for NATO membership, over what Turkey considers their leniency towards Kurdish armed teams.

The president doubled down on his objections on Wednesday and stated Turkey wouldn’t change its stance on the Swedish and Finnish NATO utility with out seeing “binding paperwork” demonstrating a hardened method to these Ankara considers “terrorists”.

Each Manbij and Tal Rifaat host massive Kurdish populations and lie close to Turkey’s border with Syria.

Their seize would enable Erdogan to develop and deepen the so-called “protected zone” alongside the border the place Ankara hopes to resettle Syrian refugees.

However based on Rami Abdul Rahman, the pinnacle of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which screens violence in Syria, the Turkish operation may set off a brand new wave of displacements.

Greater than 100,000 individuals had been displaced from the city of Afrin alone throughout the 2018 Turkish operation, based on United Nations estimates. Most people went east to Tal Rifaat.