Erdogan announces ground operation against Kurdish militias

The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said this Tuesday (22) that his country will launch “as soon as possible” a land operation, “with tanks and soldiers”, against the Kurdish militias, which will intensify the air and artillery operation deployed over the weekend in northern Syria and Iraq.

“For a few days we have been attacking terrorists with our planes, cannons and weapons (…) Know that, as soon as possible, we will eradicate everyone, together with our tanks and soldiers and our friends who will march with us”, declared Erdogan, when inaugurating a dam on the Black Sea, in the northeast of the country.

By speaking of “terrorists”, Erdogan was referring to members of the Kurdish militia Syrian People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Kurdish guerrillas in Turkey.

Ankara considers the two groups to be a single terrorist organization, which it is responsible for the November 13 bomb attack in central Istanbul ul, which caused six deaths and left 81 wounded, although both the YPG and the PKK separately deny any involvement in the attack.

Erdogan returned, however, to insist on the version of the authorities of his country, since they know “the identity of each one of the terrorists in this zone”.

In a clear retaliatory action, Turkey launched a bombing operation against Kurdish soldiers on the Syrian borders and on the day 19, which, according to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, continue and threaten an escalation of attacks and violence on the borders with the two Arab countries.

The day before, a missile attack fired from Syria caused two deaths and six injuries in southern Turkey.

In his inaugural speech at the Yusufeli dam and hydroelectric plant, Erdogan recalled the victims – one child and a teacher – of this attack, for which he also blamed the Kurdish militias, and warned that “not a drop of blood spilled by these brothers will go to waste”.

In an apparent message addressed to the US, although without mentioning them, the Turkish president again indirectly criticized American support for the YPG, with which an international coalition is fighting the jihadist group Islamic State ( IS).

The Turkish authorities “know who is sponsoring these terrorists”, Erdogan said.

“We have done our part by complying with all agreements regarding the security of our Syrian borders (…) From now on, there is only one measure for us, there is only one limit. It is the security of our country, of our own citizens”, he emphasized.

“Those who come from thousands of kilometers, for their own security, must understand our right”, added the Turkish president.

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