Turkey will go ahead with an offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria if the US delays the withdrawal of troops from the war-torn country, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday January 10th, AFP has reported.
“If the (withdrawal) is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision,” Cavusoglu told NTV television.
Despite US officials warning Turkey against attacking Kurdish forces fighting Isis in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to launch a fierce military campaign against US-backed Kurds, namely the People's Protection Units (YPG).
US National Security Adviser John Bolton has just returned from a trip to Turkey, where he had aimed to coordinate the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria. Bolton, during his visit, is said to have stressed to Turkish officials, including Erdogan, that Kurdish forces must be protected in Syria.
President Trump, in December, announced plans for a total withdrawal of US troops from Syria, leaving many questions open, chiefly whether Kurdish fighters who had been operating in northern Syria alongside US forces would now be open to attack by their long-time enemy, Turkey.