Syrian Kurds Trade Fire With Turkish Military Along Border

Turkey Vows to Rid Syrian District of Kurds

Following Monday’s statement from Turkey’s Defense Minister that a military offensive against Kurds forces in Syria’s Afrin District was imminent, the Kurdish forces in the area opened fire on a nearby Turkish border post.

Turkey’s military reported that one of their soldiers were wounded in Kurdish fire, and responded with artillery fire against the Afrin District. There is as yet no news on casualties from within the Afrin District.

This just adds to the expectation that fighting between the Turkish military and the Kurdish YPG is inevitable. The US had been trying to keep the two sides apart during the ISIS war, but with attention shifting from ISIS, Turkey seems more interested than ever in such an offensive.

Turkish President Erdogan has repeatedly indicated that attacking Afrin would be the next goal for Turkish forces within Syria, saying that the government will rid Afrin of Kurdish forces and return it to its “rightful owners.” Afrin has had a Kurdish presence since the 18th century, though Turkey maintains that Kurds are not allowed west of the Euphrates River within Syria.

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.