Turkey Threatens Further Strikes on US-allied Syrian Kurds
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday his country may take further action against Kurdish militants in Iraq and Syria and insisted U.S. support for such groups “must come to an end.”
The U.S. moved troops and armored vehicles through several Syrian cities and towns on Friday and Saturday in a show of force apparently intended to dissuade Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces from attacking each other.
Kurdish officials described the U.S. troop movement as a “buffer” between them and Turkey.
The U.S. has provided air cover and other support to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, it is working with the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, but also includes Arab fighters.
Video from northern Syria shows the U.S. patrols parked alongside Kurdish units flying the YPG flag.
Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organization and an extension of the Kurdish militants who have been waging a three-decade-long insurgency. It launched airstrikes against the YPG last week, killing 20 fighters and media activists.
“We will be forced to continue [our offensives],” Erdogan said. “We won’t provide a date and time for when we’ll come. But they will know that the Turkish military can come.”
Erdogan said he would discuss the issue at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump next month.