Fresh off his election victory, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is once again stepping up the rhetoric against the Kurdish YPG, the largest Kurdish faction in Syria, vowing “all necessary measures” to keep them advancing deeper into ISIS territory.
While the US is continuing to expand its support for the YPG, Turkey has become increasingly more bellicose, insisting they are prepared to use force against the US-armed faction to prevent them gaining any more territory, particularly spreading west across the Euphrates River.
The YPG’s most recent territorial gain, the town of Tel Abyad in Raqqa Province, didn’t set well with Turkey either, and Turkish troops opened fire on YPG fighters across the border into Tel Abyad. The Kurdish forces didn’t return fire that time, but the two sides seem to be heading toward overt hostilities.
Though Turkey’s Syria policies have centered on trying to prevent increased Kurdish autonomy, the policy has become much more aggressive since the resumption of the war against the PKK inside Turkey and Iraq, with Erdogan insisting the YPG is effectively part of the PKK, and confusingly that ISIS is also the same group, somehow.