Turkey appears to be on the verge of invading Syria: Report

Fox News reports that Turkey appears to be moving closer toward invading northern Syria. 

This is part of Turkey’s war on Kurdish militants in the region. Turkey has been targeting the Syrian Kurdish military organization known as The People’s Defense Units (YPG), a group that has the backing of the United States.

The latest

This past week, Turkey has launched a number of airstrikes in northern Syria.

The operation, which Turkey is referring to as “Operation Claw-Sword,” began last Sunday and has continued throughout the week. Although the numbers have not been verified, Turkey claims to have neutralized over 300 enemy combatants.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, however, has made it clear that he is planning more than just air attacks.

“This is not limited to just an air campaign,” Erdogan said.

“We will consult with our defense ministry and general staff and decide together to which our land forces need to contribute, then take our steps accordingly,” he added.

Background

Erdogan has been threatening such a military invasion for many months now, since at least May. At one point, he said that the purpose would be to set up a “safe zone,” providing Turkey with some relief from Kurdish militants.

But, thus far, Erdogan has yet to follow through on this threat, and this is likely due to the many complications in the area. Those complications, in part, arise from the fact that both the United States and Russia have interests in northern Syria.

Russia, for its part, keeps a large military presence in Syria, while the area is of particular importance to the U.S. because it is where the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are located. The SDF, and thus the YPG, has been instrumental in helping the United States to fight against Islamic terrorists, and there is a prison in the area that houses ISIS terrorists from more than 50 countries.

A fear is that a Turkish invasion could lead to the destabilization of the region.

Both the United States and Russia are currently taking steps to ensure that this situation doesn’t turn into a full-blown war that can jeopardize their interests in the area. But, it remains unclear whether they will be able to talk Turkey down.