Syrian Kurds warn Turkey against military intervention
The main Kurdish party in Syria has warned Turkey against any military intervention, saying the Kurds are prepared to repel any aggression.
The statement by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Wednesday was in reaction to Turkish media reports about some long-debated military intervention in the Syrian-Turkish border regions, saying the Kurds in the area are ready to face any “aggression.”
Turkey says it may intervene militarily along its southern borderline to repel a growing threat of ISIL in the region. But Kurds are opposed to any such move, saying this could also outflank them along Turkey’s southern borders.
“Any military intervention in Rojava will have local, regional and international repercussions and will contribute to complicating the political situation in Syria and the Middle East and threaten international security and peace,” the PYD statement warned, using a local term to refer to Syria’s predominantly Kurdish region.
Over the past months, Syrian Kurds have managed to push back ISIL from many villages and towns they controlled before, prompting concerns in Turkey about the establishment of a Kurdish state.
Kurds in Syria have for long denied having any intention to set up an independent state along the Turkish border, saying they want good relations with their neighbors.
Ankara, however, fears the creation of a Kurdish entity could intensify separatist sentiments among the Kurdish minority in Turkey.
The PYD’s military wing, the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, managed to capture the border town of Tel Abyad from the ISIL on June 16. Before that, Tel Abyad was facilitating the transfer of weapons and ISIL militants to and from Raqqa, a stronghold of the terrorist group in Syria.
The Wednesday statement called on Turkish officials to “stop their provocative and reckless acts.”
Turkey’s National Security Council held a meeting Monday to review the latest developments in Syria. Chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the meeting discussed relaxing the rules of engagement for the Turkish troops to be able to fire into Syria, and allowing Turkish tanks and troops to invade and occupy a ‘buffer zone’ 110 kilometers (70 miles) long and 33 kilometers (20 miles) wide into the Syrian territory.