Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan begins military bombing in Syria amid declaration of ‘Spring of Peace’; Turkey is targeting ISIS and other Kurdish forces that they declare as terrorists; Erdogan: #OperationPeaceSpring will neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.
Immediately following the declaration of a ‘Spring of Peace’ by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish forces began to carry out strikes inside of Syria. Turkey is targeting ISIS & Kurdish forces with the hopes of clearing the area of further terror threats. Turkey has labeled the Kurdish forces a terror organization due to separate Kurdish forces that are banned inside of Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Erdogan said, “The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria. Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area… #OperationPeaceSpring will neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes. We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.”
Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop reaffirmed the Turkish president’s goal in stating, “Operation Peace Spring commenced by Turkey aims to ensure the stability of our region that the terrorist organizations desire to sentence to chaos…Turkey is conducting an operation with the sole aim of achieving peace. By this operation, all the people of the region shall win…Turkey has used all means of solution and negotiation against the threat of terror, but the terror groups formed in the south of Turkey have continued with their activities…The sole purpose of the commenced operation is to eliminate the threat of terror against Turkey.”
Many hold President Trump’s withdrawal of the troops from the immediate area responsible for what is now taking place, but there’s a greater picture. Trump’s decision to vacate the area was not an abandonment of the Kurds-in fact, the US is still arming and funding them in their fight against ISIS. The complication comes in when you recognize that Turkey is targeting the Kurds.