Turkey will start from the town of Manbij in northern Syria to “thwart games” along its borders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on January 24, according to Reuters.
Manbij is controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces are the core of the SDF.
“I have doubts about the humanity of those who support this organization (People’s Protection Units, also called YPG) and call Turkey an invader,” Erdogan added speaking to local administrators in Ankara.
On the same day, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey’s demand “is actually very basic, simple, clear and concrete”: the US has to drop its support to YPG/YPJ. However, it seems Washington is not ready to fulfill this demand.
On Janury 23, the US “could” cease support to units of the SDF, particularly Kurdish YPG and YPJ, in northeastern Syria that will join fighting in Afrin where the Turkish Armed Forces codnuct operation against local YPG/YPJ forces.
“If we observe scenarios in which that equipment [supplied by the US] is used for other purposes we are going to take appropriate action that could include cutting of military assistance to them,” Pentagon spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told Anadolu Agency.
“If they [SDF/YPG/YPJ] carry out military operations of any kind that are not specifically focused on ISIS they will not have coalition support.”