Erdogan promises to “annihilate” Kurdish forces and Russia calls not to launch full-scale ground offensive in Syria | news
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged on Wednesday to “annihilate” Kurdish units in the Tal Rifaat, Manbij and Ain al-Arab (Kobani) areas of northern Syria Bomb positions of militants, Kurds with artillery, fighter planes and march.
Erdogan said – in a speech to his party’s bloc in parliament – that his country is committed to completing the “safe corridor” on its southern border with Syria, stressing that they will do so at the time they see fit , will begin a ground military operation in northern Syria .
Referring to the recent bombing of Istanbul, Erdogan added that recent events show that “the powers that have given guarantees that there would be no threat against Turkey from the areas they control in Syria have not fulfilled their promises .
The Turkish president vowed that air operations in northern Syria were just the beginning.
Since last Sunday, the Turkish army has launched an air and artillery strike in northern Syria and Iraq against the so-called Kurdish People’s Defense Units, which form the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the military operation launched by his country last Sunday under the name “Claw Sword” targets the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the “People’s Defense Units” and the “Islamic State” organization.
The military operation came after Ankara accused the Workers’ Party and the “People’s Defense Units” of being responsible for the November 13 bombing that killed six and wounded 81 others on Taksim Street in central Istanbul.
Turkey’s defense minister added that his country’s armed forces had so far attacked 471 sites of these groups, which were being bombed by his country’s armed forces.
A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, Farhad Shami, said a Turkish march targeted the headquarters of its forces at a Russian base north of Tal Tamr in Hasakah governorate in north-eastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that the Turkish bombing targeted an office of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” inside the Russian base and resulted in the injury of a Russian soldier, something Shami has neither confirmed nor denied.
Al Jazeera correspondents in Syria reported renewed Turkish bombing raids on Syrian Democratic Forces positions in the north and northeast of the country. He said the bombing targeted sites in the city of Tal Rifaat and the outskirts of the cities of Manbij and Ain al-Arab (Kobani) in the northern and eastern Aleppo countryside.
Local sources in Syria also reported that the Turkish army had attacked Syrian Democratic Forces bases in the Hasakah and Qamishli countryside.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Turkish artillery bombardment last night was concentrated on the city of Ain al-Arab on the border with Turkey, which has been the stronghold of the “People’s Defense Units” since the “Islamic State” was expelled. Organized from this in 2015 with support from the West.
request of Russia
For his part, Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentiev said today that his country had urged Turkey to refrain from launching a full-scale ground attack in Syria because “such moves could lead to an escalation of violence”.
The Russian negotiator added after a new round of Syrian talks with delegations from Turkey and Iran in the Kazakh capital Astana: “We hope that our talks will reach Ankara and that there are other means of resolving the crisis.”
Lavrentiev said Ankara believes that “all Kurds in northeastern Syria are terrorists, and Moscow does not agree,” stressing that resolving the Kurdish issue will be an important factor in achieving stability in the region.
Russia, Turkey and Iran, in a joint statement after the Astana talks, pledged to “oppose separatist plans aimed at undermining Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the national security of neighboring countries through things like cross-border attacks and incursion.” to threaten”.
US National Security Council Strategic Affairs Coordinator John Kirby stated that Turkey suffers from a “terrorist threat” especially on its southern borders and has the right to defend itself, but stressed that Washington’s position is consistent regarding Turkey’s cross-border military operations, warning that this would result in undermining the ability of the “Syrian Democratic Forces” to fight the “Islamic State” organization.
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