Erdogan threatens a ground operation in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday threatened to launch a ground operation in Syria after cross-border airstrikes on Kurdish positions and deadly fire on Turkey.

“There is no doubt that this operation will be limited to an air operation only,” Erdogan told reporters on his flight home from Qatar after attending the World Cup opener.

“We will make those who obstruct us on our territory pay,” he added.

The Turkish leader has threatened a new military operation in northern Syria since May.

Overnight, Turkey struck dozens of targets in northern Syria as well as northern Iraq, a week after an explosion in Istanbul killed six people and wounded 81, which Ankara blamed on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Kurdish groups and authorities have denied responsibility for the Nov. 13 blast, which revived bitter memories of a wave of attacks in Turkey between 2015 and 2017.

Rocket fire from Syrian territory killed at least two people, including a child, in the Turkish border town of Karkamis on Monday, senior officials said.

“The competent authorities, our Ministry of Defense and the Chief of Staff will together decide the level of force to be used by our ground forces,” Erdogan said.

– Burial –

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a British-based monitoring group, Turkish raids, mainly on positions of Kurdish forces in northern and northeastern Syria, have killed at least 37 people and wounded 70.

Ankara said the targeted Kurdish bases were used to carry out “terrorist” attacks inside Turkey.

On Monday, thousands of people gathered to bury 11 people who died in al-Malikiyya in Syria’s far northeast, including a journalist who worked for a Kurdish news agency, with coffins draped in red, white and green Kurdish flags.

“We call on the world, all those who care about human rights and the big powers” to pressure Turkey to stop its strikes, which are “targeting us with planes and drones,” Shaaban, 58, told AFP at the funeral.

Washington expressed condolences for the deaths of civilians in Syria and Turkey and called for a de-escalation in Syria.

“We are calling for de-escalation in Syria to protect civilian lives and support the overall goal of defeating ISIS,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement, referring to the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group.

“We continue to oppose any uncoordinated military action in Iraq that violates Iraqi sovereignty,” he added.

In Berlin, Germany’s foreign ministry also called on Turkey to “react proportionately and respect international law,” adding that “civilians must always be protected.”

Turkey’s latest military push could spell trouble for its strained relationship with Western allies – particularly the United States, which relies heavily on Syrian Kurdish forces in its fight against IS jihadists.

SOHR said Kurdish fighters and Syrian soldiers bore the brunt of the casualties during the attacks in Raqqa and Hasakeh districts in the northeast and Aleppo in the north.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), among those attacked, said Turkey carried out new airstrikes on Monday.

The strikes also targeted PKK bases in mountainous northern Iraq and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) bases in Syria, Turkey’s defense ministry said.

The PKK has waged a bloody insurgency for decades and is designated a terrorist group by Ankara and its Western allies.

An exchange of artillery fire between Turkish forces, supported by the Syrian auxiliary forces and the SDF, also began after the strike on Karkamis, according to an AFP correspondent.

– “70 planes and drones” –

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group linked to the PKK.

Erdogan said the strikes hit “70 planes and drones” that “penetrated 140 kilometers (87 miles) into northern Iraq and 20 kilometers into northern Syria.”

Erdogan said he had “no discussions” with either US President Joe Biden or Russian President Vladimir Putin “about the operation”.

Turkey has often accused Washington of supplying weapons to Kurdish forces, while Russia supports pro-Damascus militias in the region.

Between 2016 and 2019, Turkey launched three large-scale operations in northern Syria against Kurdish groups.

Dozens of protesters opposing Turkish raids in Syria and Iraq were arrested in Ankara and Istanbul late on Monday after they gathered at the call of the pro-Kurdish HDP party, AFP reporters said.

Links by topic

News from all over Stans

Thank you for being here;

We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow, but maintaining revenue has never been more difficult.

With the rise of ad blockers and Facebook – our traditional sources of income through quality network advertising – continues to decline. And unlike many other news sites, we don’t have to pay – with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Publishing our news takes time and effort 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful, then please consider becoming a regular supporter or make a one-time contribution for now.

Contributor to SpaceDaily

A $5 bill is billed once

credit card or PayPal

Monthly Fan of SpaceDaily
$5 billed monthly

PayPal only

Iran has launched deadly missile strikes against Kurdish groups in Iraq

Arbil, Iraq (AFP), November 15, 2022

On Monday, Iran launched new cross-border missile and drone strikes against Iraqi-based Kurdish opposition groups it accuses of fomenting unrest in the country, killing at least one person, according to local authorities. Iran has been rocked by nearly two months of protests sparked by the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, after she was arrested by the notorious morality police for allegedly violating a strict dress code for women. Tehran accuses Kurdish-Iranian opposition groups based in northern Iran of… read on Erdogan threatens a ground operation in Syria

Back to top button