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Erdogan threatens Syrian Kurdish groups as local elections approach

Erdogan threatens Syrian Kurdish groups as local elections approach
Erdogan threatens Syrian Kurdish groups as local elections approach

 


ANKARA Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday criticized the upcoming local elections in the de facto autonomous region of northern Syria.

The Kurdish-led administration is expected to hold local elections on June 11 to choose leaders of four regions in the region.

At a ceremony on the sidelines of a major Turkish military exercise in the Aegean province of Izmir, Erdogan described the planned elections as a threat to Turkey's territorial integrity, saying: “We did what he had to be done before,” referring to Turkish military incursions into Syrian regions under Kurdish control.

We will not hesitate to intervene again if we encounter the same situation, he added.

Turkey views the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, the armed wing of northern Syria's autonomous administration, as a threat to its national security because of its ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the militant group fighting for Kurdish autonomy internally. Turkey.

We are closely following the aggressive actions of terrorist organizations targeting the territorial integrity of our country and Syria under the pretext of elections, Erdogan said. Turkey will never allow the separatist organization to establish “terrorism” in northern Syria and Iraq, just beyond its southern borders.

Based in northern Iraq, the PKK has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey since 1984. Although the PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the SDF remains the main ally of the Western powers in the country. fight against the Islamic State.

Erdogan also criticized the current alliance between the SDF and the US-led international coalition against ISIS, describing it as an insidious plan directly targeting our country and region. Using the Arabic acronym ISIS, Erdogan continued, I want it to be known that the argument of the fight against Daesh no longer has any validity in our eyes.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and his US counterpart Antony Blinken also discussed the latest situation in Syria, according to Turkey's official Anadolu news agency. Turkey has pressured Washington to end its alliance with the SDF and, more recently, to withdraw its approximately 1,000 troops stationed in northern Syria.

The upcoming local elections come amid growing threats from Ankara to establish a security zone 30 kilometers deep beyond its border with northern Iraq and Syria, citing national security issues.

We will not stop until we destroy every terrorist nest in Syria, from Tal Rifaat to Ayn ​​Al Arab. [Kobani]from Hassaké to Manbij, Erdogan swore in January.

Turkey launched four ground incursions into SDF-controlled areas of Syria between 2016 and 2020 and its airstrikes in the region continue.

Sources

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2/ https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2024/05/turkeys-erdogan-threatens-syrian-kurdish-groups-local-elections-near

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