Turkish president threatens to target US-backed Kurdish fighters
01 November, 2018, 20:41 | Author: Orlando Hughes
The attendees - the leaders of France, Germany, Turkey and Russian Federation - notably "reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic" in a joint statement, which many observers saw as a not-so-subtle acknowledgement of the victory of Syrian President Bashar Assad, widely accused of war crimes.
In fact, on Tuesday, as Erdogan threatened Syria's Kurds, denouncing them as "terrorists", he also charged that the United States "uses all terrorist organizations", including IS, "indiscriminately as a lever to achieve its goals in the region".
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, also said the patrols will begin Thursday adding that they follow days of Turkish shelling of positions of the main Kurdish militia.
The Turkish government has always been seeking the YPG withdrawal from Manbij over security concerns, as it regards the YPG as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), blacklisted by Ankara as a terrorist organization.
The Turkish military said in a statement on Wednesday that a border command post in Sanliurfa province came under "harassment fire" from Kurdish "terrorist organization" forces, resulting in one military vehicle being destroyed.
Palladino was responding to a question from Kurdistan 24 about threats issued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the principal U.S. partner against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, as well as Turkey's cross-border shelling of Kurdish cities and towns in northern Syria. "After Manbij, our next venue will be east of the Euphrates", he said.
Taspinar sees Ankara with the upper hand over Washington regarding the situation in northern Syria, but overall with the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson and open communication in the investigation of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the two countries are diplomatically improving.
The SDF now controls more than a quarter of Syrian territory after its Kurdish dominated forces beat back IS jihadists with USA support over the past three years.
"We have wrapped up training for US-Turkish patrols in Manbij and will start to carry out such patrols today or tomorrow". This assault has already forced Kurdish forces to retreat across the Euphrates river.
Despite the Manbij roadmap, Erdogan and the Turkish military have repeatedly stated they plan to advance east of the Euphrates to the clear the border of "terrorists".
According to some observers, there are fears within the Self-Administration-the Kurdish-led political authority that unilaterally declared its control over majority-Kurdish regions in 2013-of a repeat occurrence.
Turkey has always been accused of directly or indirectly propping up the Islamic State in order to press on with a decades-long campaign against the Kurds, one of the largest stateless populations in the world.
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