Turkish army, bombings by YPG/PKK in Syria

Erdoğan approves ground operation by the Turkish army in Iraq, Syria

Nearly 100 YPG/PKK targets have been shelled since the Turkish army launched yesterday an operation, which will include ground forces.

The President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdoğan, authorized on Monday a ground operation against the presence of the terrorist group YPG/PKK in northern Iraq and Syria after the Turkish army bombarded over the weekend with several F-16 fighters and drones objectives of the group as part of “Operation Claw-Sword” (Pençe Kılıç Harekâtı), in response to the attack that last Sunday caused 6 dead and 81 injuried in Istanbul.

“It is clear that this operation will not be limited to just an air operation,” Erdoğan told reporters on board the presidential plane yesterday, during his return to Turkey after having participated in the opening of the World Cup in Qatar. “How many Army troops will participate is something that will be decided together with our Ministry of Defense and the General Staff. We will make our inquiries, and then we will take action accordingly,” he explained.

The Turkish president announced that Ankara has been carrying out diplomatic contacts with several countries involved on the issue “and has taken and will take steps accordingly.” But when asked about whether Turkey had held consultations with the United States (an ally of the YPG) or with Russia (an ally of the Assad regime), Erdoğan said that he had not consulted the operation with either Biden or Putin, and assured that both leaders are aware that Turkey can carry out such operations in the region at any time.

“First of all, this operation in northern Iraq and Syria is not an operation that was carried out without further ado, wondering what is going to say who, or what will happen if we do this or that,” Erdoğan said, adding that against anyone that represents a threat to Turkey, Ankara will respond by “making it pay the price,” the Turkish president assured.

“Russia was responsible for driving the YPG out of Syria, but it has not been able to”

Regarding the agreement reached in 2019 with Russia that stipulated the withdrawal of the YPG from a 30-kilometer strip around the Turkish border, Erdoğan pointed out that Moscow has not been able to implement said agreement, hence the military intervention it is taking place now by the Turkish army. “They had a responsibility to cleanse the region of terrorists, but unfortunately, although we have reminded them many times over and over again, they have not and cannot do it,” he said.

Following the launch of “Operation Claw-Sword” early Sunday, the Turkish army launched a bombing campaign against targets of the PKK and its Syrian branch, the YPG, in northern Syria and Iraq. Some 70 fighter jets and armed drones took part in the operation, according to Erdoğan, hitting a total of 89 targets. “So far, 45 terrorist targets up to 140 kilometers inside northern Iraq, and 44 targets up to 20 kilometers inside Syria, have been hit,” the Turkish president confirmed to media.