Erdogan threatens ground operation into Syria

Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to launch a ground operation into Syria on Monday. He made the threat in response to cross-border airstrikes on Kurdish positions and lethal fire on Turkey. Erdogan talked to the media after a flight back from Qatar after attending the World Cup opening. He told the press that Turkey had only limited this operation to only an aerial operation. The Turkish president has threatened a new ground military operation into northern Syria since May. Turkish retaliated only a week after a bombing in Istanbul that left six dead and many injured. Later the agencies claimed that Ankara to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attributed the attack. After this Turkey struck dozens of targets overnight in northern Syria and northern Iraq.

The Nov. 13 bombing also left 81 people injured and brought back a few painful memories. The attack was the first major terrorist attack after a wave of attacks in Turkey between 2015 and 2017. However, Kurdish groups and authorities have denied any claim. According to interior minister Suleyman Soylu, the rocket fire from Syrian territory killed at least three people. These people included a child as well. The Syrians fired rockets at the Turkish border town of Karkamis on Monday.

Moreover, Suleyman Soylu promised a powerful reaction. Whereas Erdogan said that authorities such as the defense ministry, and the chief of staff will jointly decide the level of force. After the decision, the ground forces will march toward their targets. We have previously issued a warning that it will hold those who violate our territory accountable.

According to the British-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Turkish raids have killed at least 35 people. Moreover, the raids have injured 70 others. These raids primarily targeted Kurdish forces’ positions in northern and northeastern Syria.

According to Turkey, forces only attack those Kurdish bases which were used for terrorist attacks on Turkish territory.

A journalist who worked for a Kurdish news agency was among the 11 people who died on Monday. The Kurdish authorities laid the people who died in the raids to rest. The authorities buried the bodies in Al-Malikiyah, in the far northeast of Syria.

According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, the strikes also hit PKK bases in Syria. Along with bases of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Iraq’s mountainous region.

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