Turkey intends to finally destroy the armed formations in northern Syria, which it considers threatening national security. This statement was made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a televised address on Monday.
Ankara “is determined to eliminate the threats emanating from the north of Syria, either together with the local forces operating there, or by its own means,” Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
The day before, in the province of Idlib in northern Syria, a territory where Kurdish armed formations operate, two members of the Turkish special forces were killed and three others were wounded as a result of a missile strike. Ankara has accused the militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an organization considered terrorist in Turkey.
“The last attack on our police officers (in the zone of the“ Euphrates Shield ”operation) and attacks aimed at our lands have already exceeded our patience,” the politician commented on the attack.
Earlier on Monday, Turkish authorities also reported that the city of Karkamysh in Gaziantep province was subjected to mortar shelling from Syria. No information has been received about the victims. The local administration blamed the shelling on the PJD (Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party). “
In late September, Erdogan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, at which the parties reaffirmed their shared commitment to the Syria agreement. In June, the two countries agreed to continue the fight against terrorism in Idlib. In 2019, Russia and Turkey also signed a memorandum of understanding, according to which the Kurdish People’s Self-Defense Forces (YPG, part of the SDF alliance) were to withdraw their forces to a depth of 30 km from the border with Turkey, as well as from the cities of Manbij and Tell Rifat. These conditions have not yet been met.
Turkish Armed Forces in 2016-2019 conducted three operations in northern Syria – “Shield of the Euphrates” against militants of the IS banned in Russia, as well as “Olive Branch” and “Source of Peace” against Kurdish groups. The presence of Ankara’s forces in Damascus on the border territory was repeatedly called a violation of Syrian sovereignty and called for the withdrawal of troops.