On October 31, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his country’s reservations regarding the US continues support for Kurdish forces in Syria, namely the People’s Protection Units (YPG)
Erdogan criticized the US support for the YPG after meeting with President Joe Biden on the sideline of the G20 summit in the Italian capital Rome. The Turkish President described the talks as being “positive”.
“I also told him [Biden] these issues were steps that could damage our solidarity. I believe the process that has been continuing until now will not continue like this from now on,” Erdogan told reporters, according to the Daily Sabah.
The YPG is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party which is designate as terrorist group by both Turkey and the US. Despite this, the group makes up the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which control most of northeastern Syria with direct support from the US.
A recent report by Reuters revealed that the Turkish military and intelligence may launch an operation against the SDF if diplomatic efforts fail to convince the group to pull its fighters at least 30 kilometers away from Turkish forces in Syria.
Erdogan is supposed to make a decision on the operation after the meeting with Biden. He may also call Russian President Vladimir Putin whose country maintains large forces in areas held by the SDF in northern and northeastern Syria.
The SDF has been preparing for a new Turkish attack. So do, Russian forces and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) who held unprecedented ground and aerial drills in northeastern Syria as Erdogan was meeting with Biden in Rome.
Turkey appears to be determined to confront the Kurdish-led SDF in northern and northeastern Syria. Any Turkish move in these regions could potentially provoke Russia, who may not shy away from the battle. This will be the worst case scenario for the Turkish military and its proxies.