Earlier, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara was determined to eliminate the threat emanating from northern Syria. He also stressed that the Kurdish YPG militia attack that killed two Turkish police personnel was the “last thing”.
Turkey says police in Syria’s Azaz region were hit by a missile attack at the weekend, launched from Tel Rifaat by the Kurdish YPG. Ankara considers the group a terrorist group closely linked to the insurgents fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeastern Turkey.
“It is very important that the areas, especially the Tel Rifaat area, from which attacks are constantly being carried out against us, are cleared,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters on Friday.
Turkish forces have launched three attacks in the last five years. They managed to seize hundreds of kilometers of border strip and push the Kurdish YPG about 30 km into northern Syria.
The timing and nature of Turkey’s subsequent military action is unclear. The official said the military and MIT’s national intelligence agency were making preparations. “The decision on this has been taken and the necessary coordination will be carried out with certain countries. This will be discussed with Russia and the US,” he continued.
Officials said Erdogan would discuss the issue with US President Joe Biden at the G20 summit in Rome at the end of October. It is also scheduled that Erdogan will speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin after talks with Biden.
Another official said the Kurdish YPG should be pushed back at least 30 km. He noted that Russia is in complete control of the areas from which the recent attacks came, along with some Iranian elements.