Turkey Threatens to Launch a New Military Offensive in North Syria

FM: Russia, US ceasefires failed to expel Kurds

On Monday, Turkish Foreign Ministry Mevlut Cavusoglu accused both Russia and the US of failing to abide by their respective ceasefires with Turkey by failing to expel the Kurdish YPG from the north Syrian safe zone.

This comes after a weekend attack in al-Bab, which Turkish officials blamed on the YPG. Though al-Bab is not within the safe zone, Turkey is emphasizing the bombing as proof the YPG are ISIS-type terrorists.

Cavusoglu says that if neither nation is successful in expelling the Kurds for them, Turkey is prepared to launch another offensive against northern Syria intended to act against the Kurdish faction.

It’s not clear what presence the YPG maintains within northern Syria, though Turkey has clearly intended to take the military offensive against them further than the 30 km border region, and has emphasized the narrative that the YPG are terrorists.

So far it’s not clear what either the US or Russia intends to do about these new allegations, or if they intend to do anything at all. President Trump has declared the ceasefire a success, despite past Turkish objections, and probably won’t want to admit publicly that the deal with Turkey isn’t being sustained.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.