On November 22, Turkey Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said at the Turkish defense ministry’s budget talks in Ankara that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is a “serious danger” to Turkey, Reuters has reported.
The minister revealed that the Turkey Army established its third observation post in Syria’s Idlib governorate west of the YPG-held city of Afrin, according to the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper .
“The PKK/YPG and Daesh [ISIS] are a threat to Turkey, and [their locations] are a target for us. Within this context, let there be no doubt that we will use our right(s) arising from international law,” Canikli said during the budget talks according to Daily Sabah.
Meanwhile, Syrian opposition sources reported that a new convoy of the Turkish Army entered the northern Idlib countryside on November 22. The new force will likely be deployed near the three observation posts of the Turkish Army west of Afrin.
From its side, the YPG held a military parade in the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) areas in eastern Syria on November 21 to “support Afrin city”, according to the YPG official website. During the parade, the YPG showed Humvee and Guardian armoured vehicles supplied by the US.
“If they think only Afrin will fight to defend the region, that’s wrong … they better take everything into consideration before trying any attack against Afrin … If they make such a mistake, they will be countered by all the people of northern Syria and Rojava along with all the components of SDF, including YPG and YPJ [Women’s Protection Units],” one of the YPG leaders who participated in the military parade said.
According to Syrian sources, the Turkish military operation against the YPG in Afrin city could be closer than what some expected. On November 22, the Syrian Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported that Turkish warplanes and UAVs are flying around the hour over Afrin. ANHA also said that strange movements were noticed by locals north of Afrin city along the border with Turkey.
Turkey may attack Afrin after ISIS is defeated in Syria to avoid any criticism from the US or any other side. With the Turkish Army besieging Afrin from northern, western and easter sides and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) controlling the southern side, the YPG will face significant problems in defending its positions in eastern Syria without a diplomatic and military assistance from the Syrian-Iranian-Russian alliance.
Some Kurdish source claim that defending Afrin is possible like in Kobani city. However, it seems that everyone is forgetting that the YPG had the support of the US-led coalition warplanes and a supply line that run through Turkey during the Kobani battle against ISIS.