Erdogan announces “a new phase” in Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria

MADRID, June 1 (Royals Blue) –

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced this Wednesday “a new phase” in the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria against the Kurdish militia People’s Protection Units (YPG), which in this case will focus on the cities from Tel Rifat and Manbij.

“We are entering a new phase of our decision to establish a safe zone 30 kilometers south (of the border between Turkey and Syria),” he said, before adding that the aforementioned towns will be “cleansed of terrorists”, according to picked up the Turkish state news agency, Anatolia.

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Thus, he has criticized that the United States and Russia have not fulfilled their commitments to guarantee a buffer zone on the border and has argued that the objective of the operation will be to protect Turkey and the residents of northern Syria from the “terrorist threat” of the YPG.

Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian affiliate of the armed group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with a presence in Turkey. The YPG are in turn the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), key in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria.

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For this reason, the Turkish Armed Forces launched ‘Operation Euphrates Shield’ against the YPG in 2016 with the support of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a coalition of rebel groups that Ankara supports in the framework of the war in Syria.

Subsequently, Ankara announced on March 29, 2017 the end of the operation, although they stressed that they would maintain their military intervention in Syria under another name. Also, in 2019 they launched ‘Operation Peace Spring’ against the YPG in the north of the country.

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