Erdogan vows to launch a ground operation “soon” in northern Syria

ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday vowed to launch a ground operation “soon” in northern Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

“We will root out all of them with our tanks, artillery and soldiers,” the semi-official Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying during a ceremony in the Black Sea province of Artvin.

Erdogan’s remarks followed a Turkish aerial operation that began on Sunday morning against the YPG in northern Syria and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.

The aerial operation, dubbed “Operation Claw-Sword,” was launched after a bomb explosion in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul on Nov. 13 killed at least six people and injured another 81.

After the attack, Turkish police said they had detained a Syrian woman named Ahlam Albashir, who admitted to taking orders from the YPG, which Ankara considered to be the Syrian branch of the PKK.

The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has rebelled against the Turkish government for over three decades.

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