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Erdogan Threatens New Assault on Syrian Kurds

Analyst Weighs in With Risks and Highlights

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Posted on: 
22 Oct 2019
Erdogan Threatens New Assault on Syrian Kurds
Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to resume a full-scale offensive against Kurdish-led forces in north-eastern Syria when a US-brokered ceasefire is scheduled to end, unless the US keeps promises he insisted had been made to him regarding the conflict. Meanwhile, pressure on Turkey to end its invasion of the Kurdish-dominated region has mounted from several quarters in recent days, including the US Congress as well as the Kremlin and even Iran. Troops loyal to the Assad regime, backed by Russian forces, have been deployed to towns within Turkey’s proposed “safe zone” along the border, presumably as a blocking force to physically stop Erdogan’s plans if necessary.

Meanwhile, opposition groups estimate that around 300,000 people have been displaced by the latest round of fighting in Syria while several hundred on all sides have been killed and wounded.

"We need to stop the slaughter. We need to ensure that we don't enable ISIS (the Islamic State militant group)," Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen told a news conference on Monday. "I blame Turkey more than anyone. Turkey's invasion has put at risk the defeat of the caliphate," and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said.

Also on Monday, Iranian government officials denounced what they called the “unacceptable” notion that Turkey would set up permanent military presence in northeast Syria, and area they would like to use for their own plans of establishing a land corridor from Iranian territory to Lebanon, where their terror proxy Hezbollah is poised to seize power amidst massive social and political upheaval.

Meanwhile, analysts warned of the possibility of intensifying civil unrest in neighboring Iraq, which could have a further destabilizing influence on the entire region.

Here is a podcast giving some further insights into the situation in Iraq


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