Turkey’s Erdogan vows to continue attacking Kurds in northern Syria


People of Sere kaniye in Syria's Hasakah province bidding farewell to Kurdish YPG fighters killed in clashes with ISIS. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday said in a speech in which he criticized the Dutch government, that Turkey will still attack the town of Manbij, which was previously liberated from ISIS by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“We won’t allow a terror state, controlled by the PKK and YPG, to be established in northern Syria,” he said.

“After Jarablus, Dabiq and Al-Bab, now it’s Manbij’s turn,” he added.

Moreover, the Turkish president said following his meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday, that Turkey wants to work with Russia and the US-led coalition in Manbij, requesting help to remove the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij.

“We, as Turkey and Russia, want to cooperate with the coalition forces there,” he said. “If the Coalition powers are with us, we can take out YPG from Manbij.”

“Our people [Turks] in the Netherlands] are under attack. That’s why we should attack Afrin, Kobane, Qamishlo, Manbij, and Tal Abyad” pro-Turkish government reporter Yilmaz Bilgen said on Saturday.

Speaking to ARA News by phone from Qamishli, Sihanouk Dibo, the presidential adviser to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), said that it is unlikely that Russia or the US-led coalition will stop their support to the SDF in Manbij.

“It seems there is one policy in the international community,” he said. “They are all against terrorism and support the SDF and Syrian Democratic Council project.”

Moreover, Dibo confirmed that until now the Syrian Kurdish representative office in Moscow led by Rodi Osman has not been closed.

Nawaf Xelil, a Kurdish analyst and former official from the Democratic Union Party (PYD), told ARA News that the Erdogan-Putin meeting should be understood in the context of Turkey’s difficulties in al-Bab, where they and their allies were bogged down for months.

“In my opinion, the Americans and Russians will not allow Turkey [to assault Manbij], because all Syriacs, Arabs and Kurds are united in the Syrian Democratic Forces,” he reasoned. “Turkey knows the United States will not change its plans.”

Xelil added that “the SDF are now on the banks of the Euphrates River […] 8 kilometers from Raqqa, and they have cut the roads between Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor,” the Islamic State’s (ISIS) largest urban strongholds.

In contrast, the Kurdish analyst believes that Turkey is being considered as ineffective, placing itself “in a bad situation, with bad relations with its neighbors and the West.”

“Turkey is in a weak position, it has bad relations with Iraq, Syria, Iran, Germany, and now also Holland is telling Turkey to not make propaganda there [for the April presidential referendum],” Xelil told ARA News.

Recently, the Netherlands did not allow the Turkish Foreign Minister to campaign for the Turkish presidential referendum on Saturday, and also deported a Turkish minister from the country.

“The countries in the European Union, such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway are unhappy with Turkey and it’s Middle East policy,” Sihanouk Dibo said.

“Previously, a UN report showed how the AKP is against the Kurdish people in North Kurdistan. The UN stance is that Turkey’s policy is wrong,” he added. “They should accept the federal project in northern Syria.”

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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