Erdogan says military operations in Syria will not be limited to airstrikes

Erdogan says military operations in Syria will not be limited to airstrikes
Erdogan says military operations in Syria will not be limited to airstrikes

Erdogan says military operations in Syria will not be limited to airstrikes

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Both the US and Russia called on Turkey and Kurdish armed groups to stop the escalation in northern Syria.

In the past few days there have been acts of violence and mutual attacks in the Syrian-Turkish border region, resulting in deaths and injuries.

A US State Department spokesman said Washington is opposed to any military action that destabilizes the situation in Syria.

Russia, for its part, called on Turkey to exercise restraint on using “excessive” military force in Syria and not to escalate tensions, Russian news agencies quoted the Russian envoy in Syria as saying on Tuesday.

The assurances from Washington and Moscow came after Turkey said two people had been killed in a mortar attack by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from northern Syria on Monday.

After a deadly explosion in Istanbul, Turkey had attacked locations of Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq in airstrikes, behind which Ankara was Kurdish groups, despite the Kurds’ denials.

A US State Department spokesman said Tuesday in an email response to related questions that Washington had conveyed to Ankara its serious concerns about the escalation’s impact on the fight against the Islamic State group.

“We have asked Turkey not to conduct such operations, just as we have asked our Syrian partners not to attack or escalate,” he added.

“We continue to oppose any military action that destabilizes the situation in Syria or violates Iraq’s sovereignty through military operations not coordinated with the Iraqi government.”

“We also reject the recent attacks in southern Turkey which have reportedly resulted in the deaths of several civilians,” he added.

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Turkish planes launched attacks on Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq on Sunday and Monday

In Monday’s attack, a senior Turkish security official said a child and a man were killed and six others injured when mortar shells landed in a border area in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, and Turkish forces responded with air strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said military operations will not be limited to air strikes and that his country may launch a ground operation in Syria to eliminate “terrorism”.

Turkey has conducted several major military operations against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Islamic State in northern Syria in recent years.

The United States allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria, which has created a deep rift between Washington and Turkey, its ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO).

The result of the Turkish attacks

Last Sunday, Turkish fighters destroyed 89 targets in Syria and Iraq in operations against the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Defense Units, which Ankara says is a wing of the PKK.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said 184 militants were killed in the attacks carried out on Sunday and Monday.

Ankara says the airstrikes are in retaliation for the blast on a crowded Istanbul street last week that killed six people, which authorities accuse Kurdish militants. The PKK and the Syrian Democratic Forces denied their involvement in the bombing.

A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces said that the Turkish attacks destroyed grain elevators, a power plant and a hospital and killed 11 civilians, as well as a Syrian Democratic Forces fighter and two guards.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has been leading an uprising against the Turkish state since 1984, since then more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.


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