Turkish Defense Minister Halusi Akar renewed his threat to launch a military operation against the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in northeastern Syria, following an alert by “units,” according to Turkish newspaper Yenisafak.
Speaking on Thursday at the National Defense University in Istanbul, Akar said that Turkey was “closely following all developments in northern Syria and Iraq, and will do everything that needs to be done.”
Akar added that Turkey “respects the rights and sovereignty of neighboring countries, and, if no action is taken towards the terrorists there in Syria, Turkey will do what is necessary.”
Akar stressed that the Turkish move will be “when the time and place comes, no one should doubt it,” referring to his country’s commitment to the agreements signed with Russia and the United States on Syria.
For its part, the Turkish newspaper Yenisafak said that the YPG organization has begun to make preparations and secure equipment in anticipation of a Turkish military operation.
“YPG units went on alert following the Turkish statements and sent terrorists from their main stronghold in Qandil in northern Iraq, to the areas controlled by the organization in Syria. These terrorists were sent to work on the front lines of the Operation Peace Spring area, east of the Euphrates,” the newspaper wrote, quoting “security” sources.
In recent days, Turkish threats have escalated to launch a military operation against the YPG in the eastern Euphrates.
The threats came after Turkish forces in northern and eastern Aleppo were attacked. Earlier this week, two members of the Turkish special police were killed near the town of Marea, in rural Aleppo.
The village of Qarqmish in the state of Gaziantep, which shares a border with Syria, was also shelled three times. According to Turkish authorities, the shells came from the YPG’s areas of influence in the countryside of Ain al-Arab (Kobane).
During a meeting with Nicaragua’s foreign minister, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blamed Russia and the United States for attacks on Turkish forces on Syrian territory.
Cavusoglu described Moscow and Washington as “also responsible for the YPG/PKK attacks”, because the two countries have not fulfilled “promises to keep terrorists 30 kilometers from the border. Russia promised to cleanse Tall Rifat and Manbij, but these promises have gone unfulfilled.”
“Since Russia and the United States have not kept their commitments, we must rely on ourselves and do what we need to do,” Cavusoglu said.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.