Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to solve Syria’s issue “on the field” after the upcoming local elections, which is set to be held on March 31.
“We will definitely solve Syria issue on the field, if possible, and not on the table, as the first work after elections,” the Turkish President said during an election rally in Istanbul on March 30, according to the Anadolu Agency.
Erdogan was referring to the situation in northeastern Syria, where US-backed Kurdish forces have established a self-administration. Turkey views these forces, especially the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as a threat to its national security. The Turkish President stressed that he will not tolerate their presence there.
“We have taught the necessary lesson to those who tried to do that and we will do the same to them in the future,” Erdogan said.
In early 2018, Turkey and its proxies in northern Syria launched a large-scale attack on Kurdish forces in Afrin and managed to take hold of the entire area within a few weeks. However, the situation in northeastern Syria is much more complicated due to the presence of U.S. troops.
Despite his promise, Erdogan will not likely launch any attack on northeastern Syria without a deal with Washington, which is still determined to defend its Kurdish allies.