Erdogan: Syria’s Afrin District Must Be Cleansed of Kurdish Forces

Says He Is 'Disappointed' in US Support for Kurds

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday that Turkey’s military needs to invade the Afrin District of Syria and “cleanse” the region of Kurdish forces, which he labeled the “YPG terrorist organization.”

Turkey has long talked up its forces in Syria carrying out strikes against the YPG, and they’ve traded artillery fire along the Afrin District border repeatedly during the course of Turkey’s offensive against ISIS.

With no ISIS forces to fight anymore, the oft-threatened fight against the Kurdish forces seems like a likely next step in Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria. This is a fight that US officials have long warned against.

But Erdogan is just saying how “disappointed” he is in the US for supporting the YPG, and with the US publicly saying ISIS is defeated in Syria, they can no longer warn Turkey that such a fight will interfere with the ISIS conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.