A new statement from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a faction which is dominated by the Kurdish YPG, has affirmed that not only will they be participating in the invasion of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa, as previously announced by the US, but that they intend to be the “only force that will take part in the operation.”
Even more noteworthy, since the Turkish government has over the past two months repeatedly publicly warned the US that the Kurds mustn’t be allowed to participate in the Raqqa operation at all, the SDF’s statement offered its own warning to the US that Turkey can’t have any role.
Turkey’s military and its allied rebel factions have been invading northern Syria for some time now, mostly fighting ISIS as well, but Turkish warplanes have repeatedly attacked Kurdish YPG forces as well, mostly notably a few weeks ago when they launched strikes against YPG forces who were engaged in an offensive against ISIS at the time.
It is unsurprising, then, that neither side is comfortable working with the other in offensives, but still raises the possibility of the two getting into direct combat over who gets to attack Raqqa. This is particularly true since Turkey is still resenting their exclusion from Iraq’s invasion of Mosul.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- White House Assembling a Team for Upcoming North Korea Summit - March 16th, 2018
- US Shifts Toward Harsher Stance on Russia With Sanctions and Condemnation - March 16th, 2018
- Putin Furious After Britain Says He Ordered Attack - March 16th, 2018
- Cluster Bombs Reportedly Dropped on Syria's Eastern Ghouta - March 16th, 2018
- Turkey Attacks Hospital in Syria's Afrin, Killing Nine - March 16th, 2018