Turkey says it will do ‘what is necessary’ after Syria attacks

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Oct. 13 Turkey would “do what is necessary for its security” after what it said was a rise in cross-border attacks by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 11 that an attack that Ankara blamed on the U.S.-backed YPG that killed two Turkish police was “the final straw” and that Turkey was determined to eliminate threats originating in north Syria.

Turkey said police in northern Syria’s Azaz region were hit in a guided missile attack on Oct. 10 launched by the YPG, which Turkey says is a terrorist group due to its links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). On Oct. 11, shells believed to have been fired from a YPG-controlled area further east exploded in two areas of Karkamış in southern Turkey, Ankara said.

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said the United States and Russia had not kept their promises to ensure the YPG withdraw from the Syrian border area.

“In the latest attacks… both Russia and the U.S. have a responsibility as they did not keep their promises,” Çavuşoğlu said. “Since they are not keeping their promises, we will do what is necessary for our security,” he said.

Turkey controls swathes of territory in north Syria with allied Syrian rebels, after carrying out three separate cross-border offensives into the region against the YPG. Ankara has been infuriated by the U.S. support for the YPG and demands its NATO ally cease its backing.

In separate agreements with Moscow and Washington in 2019, Turkey halted its offensive in northeast Syria in exchange for the withdrawal of YPG militants 30 km south of its border, but has since repeatedly complained of violations and accused both countries of not keeping promises.