US officials have expressed “deep concern” tonight following early attacks by the Turkish military against American allies in both Iraq and Syria. The attacks targeted Kurdish forces, and according to the Turkish military, they “neutralized” at least 70 of them.
Turkey is facing condemnation from several sources after the attacks, not just the US and the Kurdish factions effected, but also the Iraqi government and others around the world, with the attacks likely doing significant harm to Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS.
Turkey has been threatening to attack Kurdish YPG forces in Syria for years, primarily centering on concerns that they would be able to establish an autonomous area, but also complaining that the US, in backing the Kurds against ISIS, is greatly increasing both their territory and power.
Exactly what made Turkey decide this was the time to attack was unclear, but the Pentagon says they were only given a single hour’s advanced notice of the attacks by fellow NATO member Turkey on their allies. Pentagon officials say no US embedded forces were at any of the sites targeted.
Still, the fact that the Kurds are being attacked in such large numbers may suggest Turkey is shifting their Syrian invasion back into high gear, after having stalled around Manbij, and may once again be looking to seize territory, this time from the Kurdish YPG.
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