Speaking on Turkish television today, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu threatened military action against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters operating inside Syria, saying the nation would “take every measure” to prevent them from establishing a foothold near the border.
How much of this is sincere threat and how much is just the usual bellicosity of Turkey about the Syrian border lately is unclear, but Turkey has regularly attacked Iraqi Kurdistan to target PKK fighters there over the past several years, sometimes even deploying ground troops into the region.
Other Turkish officials have hinted at a “hot pursuit” rule for chasing PKK fighters into Syria, a potentially explosive decision since northeastern Syria is in the midst of an ongoing civil war, and a Turkish invasion would almost certainly be interpreted by Syria as a move on behalf of the rebels.
Turkey is already in a state of open warfare with the PKK inside Turkey, and attacks across the border are fairly regular. The PKK has warned Turkey against meddling in Syria however, threatening to dramatically escalate the fighting.