Turkey Strikes NE Syria, Won’t Bow to US Threats

US cuts Turkey's access to Syrian airspace

Turkish officials say they will cross into northeastern Syria “shortly” with ground troops, and has carried out more strikes against the Syria-Iraq border, gearing up that operation.

After President Trump’s threat to destroy the Turkish economy over the matter, the Pentagon has also said they will severely limit Turkish access to northeastern Syria, preventing Turkey from conducting air support missions during the invasion.

Turkish officials are dismissing the US threats, with Vice President Oktay saying “Turkey is not a country that will act according to threats,” and will determine their own operations.

The US and Turkey have been sparring over the future of northeastern Syria for years. The US has wanted to ensure that the Kurdish YPG retains control of the area, while Turkey very much prefers that the Kurds not retain any autonomous territory.

And while that’s a driving priority for Turkey with respect to Kurds in multiple countries, the Turkish government’s spokesman presented the impending invasion as a “counter-ISIS effort,” and is warning the Kurds against “disrupting” that, despite the Kurdish YPG clearly being the primary target in a region where the only ISIS presence is in a YPG-controlled prison camp.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.