Speaking to Turkey’s parliament on Tuesday, President Erdogan vowed to see his country crush the Kurdish YPG militarily in Syria. He says all preparations for the long-threatened offensive are completed, and the active operations have started.
Erdogan has railed about Kurdish “terrorists” for years, and has long insisted no Kurds be allowed west of the Euphrates River. Now, Erdogan says they will be totally destroyed east of the Euphrates River as well.
Details are scant, beyond Erdogan promising to destroy them, and saying he will “come down hard on the terror organization with more extensive and effective operations.” The US has yet to comment on the matter.
The US has mostly opposed Turkish attacks on the YPG, and especially east of the Euphrates, where nearly all the US troops in Syria are embedded. It has long been feared that a Turkish invasion of Syrian Kurdistan would lead to direct conflicts between US and Turkish military forces. The US has long relied on that fact to deter Turkey, but it seems that risk is no longer enough.