Erdogan threatens more strikes against US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. File photo

ARA News

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said that Turkey could again bomb positions of the Syrian Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) any time it wanted.

“We can come unexpectedly in the night… We are not going to tip off the terror groups and the Turkish Armed Forces could come at any moment,” Erdogan said.

“Better they [YPG] live in fear than we have worries,” the Turkish President said.

On April 25 at 02:00 hours, the YPG General Command based in Qereçox in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province was bombed by warplanes belonging to the Turkish government, and the YPG Press Center, the command affiliated institutions, the Denge Rojava Radio building and other points belonging to the Syrian Kurds were targeted. “In this attack by the Turkish army, 20 of our comrades were killed and 18 of our comrades were wounded,” the YPG said.

“After this offensive, Turkey launched a series of attacks on our [YPG] positions along the border of Rojava. From the Canton of Efrin to Cindirês, and further to Dirbesiyê of the Cezire Canton, many points of our forces were attacked by the Turkish army,” the YPG said.

On 28 April, US troops visited the border areas between Rojava and Turkey to inspect the Kurdish areas bombed by the Turkish Army.

“On Friday, US troops visited the border areas after Turkish attacks on the YPG. This is a message from the United States to Turkey to stop attacking the YPG, since they fear this could threaten the anti-ISIS Raqqa operation,” he added.

Othman further said that three US army units will be deployed on the border area to prevent further attacks. “The first unit will be spread out between Dirbesiyê [Derbassiye] and Serikaniye, the second unit between Serikaniye and Tel Abyad, and the third unit will be deployed between Kobani and Tel Abyad,” he said.

Erdogan said that his government was “seriously saddened” by images showing US military vehicles operating close to the border with Syrian Kurdish fighters, threatening further military action against the YPG.

“Unfortunately … the presence of an American flag along with the [insignia] of a terror organisation called YPG in a convoy has seriously saddened us,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Sunday.

Turkey considers the YPG as a “terrorist group”, despite the fact that the Kurdish YPG has been one of the most effective forces fighting ISIS in northern Syria.

Washington, on the other hand, views the YPG as a main ally in the war on ISIS jihadists.

Erdogan expressed regret that the US-YPG alliance –which began under former president Barack Obama– was being continued under the new US administration.

“This needs to be stopped right now,” Erdogan said. “Otherwise it will continue to be a bother in the region and for us. It will also bother us as two NATO countries and strategic partners.”

In the meantime the Kurdish YPG forces vowed to strongly respond to any Turkish attacks on Rojava-Northern Syria.

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