Turkish Officials: Troops to Remain in Syria As Long As It Takes

Erdogan: PKK Bombing Increases Resolve to Stay in Syria

After launching a surprise invasion of northern Syria earlier this week, top Turkish officials are making it clear that the military operation there is open-ended, with a growing number of military goals being set out for the operation, which started as a way to help the rebels capture Jarabulus from ISIS.

Now, in addition to “cleansing” ISIS, Prime Minister Yildirim insists Turkey’s goal is to “cleanse” the whole border of all “militants,” which presumably doesn’t include the Islamist rebels they just got done installing in Jarabulus, as a way to keep refugees from trying to enter from Syria.

Even that is just part of the new military operation, with officials also making clear that both expelling the Kurdish YPG from all territory west of the Euphrates River and scaling back Kurdish territory in the far northeast of Syria are major parts of the conflict.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quick to emphasize the importance of fighting the Kurds, saying that today’s bombing inside Turkey, carried out by the Kurdish PKK, made Turkey more determined than ever to fight the YPG, a different Kurdish group in a different country.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • richard young

    Um, what ever happened to the UN Charter? And the concept of national sovereignty? Is northern Syria now a province of Turkey, or perhaps a US protectorate?

    • dieter heymann

      The UN died as a protector of Arabs in 1947 when it refused to take responsibility for the British Mandate of Palestine which it had inherited from the League of Nations.
      No other LoN mandate was split up under UN auspices.
      It was a cowardly “easy out of a quandary” solution. Hence what do you expect from cowards?

  • lemur

    > After launching a surprise invasion of northern Syria earlier this week

    Their NATO-facing OpSec must be excellent.

  • curmudgeonvt

    “…launching a surprise invasion…”

    Begs the question of how much of a surprise it really was to the US/NATO commanders.

  • dieter heymann

    The Syrian civil war of today begins to resemble the complexity of the Spanish civil war of the 1930’s replete with several contemporary “Condor” fleets. There are a number of Guernica’s in Syria today but no famous Picasso-follower painting (yet).
    There are in Syria now as there were in Spain then roughly two sides. One: supports the legitimate government. Two: wants to violently overthrow the legitimate government.

  • Dracaveli

    Giving that Turkey moved into Iraq and refused to leave last year.. I doubt this was much of a surprise.

    The commenter below is right, it resembles Spain where the Nazi’s, Russians and even some of the western nations played war inside that nation.

    But I think the Kurds will go the way of south Vietnam, used by America to wage war then abandoned.