Erdogan Will Scrap Ceasefire If Pullout Not Completed by Tuesday Evening

Says he'll 'crush the heads' of Kurdish forces

Slightly more than halfway through the 120 hour ceasefire in northern Syria, Turkey’s President Erdogan is already making ultimatums about what will come next. Unsurprisingly, given Erdogan’s long-standing priorities, the threat is more war against the Kurds.

Erdogan says that if the Kurdish forces aren’t totally withdrawn from Turkey’s newly-claimed territory by Tuesday evening, Turkey will “start where we let off and continue to crush the terrorists’ heads.”

This threat from Erdogan comes amid his demands for the US to quickly follow through with getting the Kurds out of the safe zone. Signs are that Kurds have been withdrawn from the area, but how many seems somewhat in dispute, as is whether they’ll meet the deadline.

Erdogan’s threat to resume the war is noteworthy both in that beyond head-crushing rhetoric, it is just a straightforward statement of what will happen when the 5-day ceasefire’s five days ends, and also because Erdogan is emphasizing the focus on Kurds, even when Turkey was trying to spin the invasion of northern Syria as targeting ISIS.

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.