Turkey’s operation against Kurds in Syria risks reviving IS group

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Turkey is threatening to send group troops into northeastern Syria in retaliation for a deadly Istanbul bombing on November 13 that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attributes to the Syrian Kurdish YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Unit). The group has strongly denied responsibility for the attack. However, Erdogan now plans to escalate the assault in the region, building on the air operation launched on November 20, in a move that experts say risks destabilising the region, and reviving the Islamic State (IS) group.

The noose is tightening around the Syrian Kurds. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched the “Claw-Sword” air operation in northeastern Syria on November 20 in retaliation for the deadly attack in Istanbul on November 13.

Ankara blamed the attack, which killed six and injured dozens, on the Syrian Kurdish YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Unit), which has strongly denied responsibility for the bombing.

But Erdogan has said that the strikes were “only the beginning” and that he will order a ground offensive in northeastern Syria “at the most convenient time for us”.

Washington has called on Ankara to exercise restraint while recognising the legitimacy of Turkey’s “security demands concerning terrorist attacks”.