Posted on August 24, 2016 by Editorial Staff in 1 Top News, Kurdistan
Salih Muslim, co-president of the Democratic Union Party PYD. Photo: Courtesy/Rosa Luxemburg-Stiftung/flickr
ISTANBUL ,— The co-leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim, has warned Turkey that it faces defeat in northern Syria, hours after Ankaralaunched a major military operation to pave the way for a cross-border rebel offensive on the Islamic State-held town of Jarablus.
Muslim, wrote in a tweet on Wednesday that Turkey was entering a “quagmire” in Syria and faced defeat there like Islamic State after its forces hit targets in northern Syria.
Muslim, said that Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Jarablus Military Council will stand against the Turkish army.
“Turkey is in Syrian quagmire. Will be defeated as Daesh [IS],” Muslim tweeted in Turkish, Arabic and English.
Ankara sees Muslim’s PYD, which has also battled Islamic State with U.S. backing, as a threat because of its alleged links with Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK waging their own insurgency on Turkish soil since 1984.
Turkey rejects any presence of the Kurdish YPG along its border with Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Tuesday.
Washington regards the Kurdish YPG, the PYD military wing, as key ally against Islamic State and the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and has provided them with air support as well as the military advisers. The Kurdish militia has seized swathes of Syria from Islamic State.
Turkey which still denies the constitutional existence of its own Kurds fears the creation of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syrian Kurdistan — similar to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq — would spur the separatist ambitions of Turkey’s own Kurds.
Turkish special forces units and jets supported by warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition launched an operation in northern Syria on Wednesday to wipe out Islamic State militants along the border, Turkish officials said.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey has started operations targeting Islamic State and Syrian Kurdish fighters in northern Syria to end attacks on Turkey’s border.
“At 4:00 this morning, operations started in the north of Syria against terror groups which constantly threaten our country, like Daesh and the PYD,” he said in a speech in Ankara.
A member of the U.S. coalition against Islamic State in Syria, Turkey disagrees with Washington’s support for Syrian Kurdish rebels. Ankara worries Syrian Kurdish advances in Syria against Islamic State will embolden Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.
Syrian Kurds have established three autonomous zones, or Cantons of Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin and a Kurdish government across Syrian Kurdistan (northern Syria) in 2013. On March 17, 2016 Syria’s Kurds declared a federal region in Syrian Kurdistan.
Turkey expects to swiftly eliminate the threat from Islamic State after launching an operation with U.S.-led coalition forces to sweep militants out of the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said on Wednesday.
He told Anadolu Agency that Turkish authorities had evacuated residents from the Turkish border town of Karkamis and six other villages as a precaution after the operation involving jets, artillary and special forces began on Wednesday morning.
He said Turkey will not allow militant groups to threaten the country, but sees the threat coming not just from Islamic State but from other “terrorist” organizations.