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Turkey President Erdogan Says Mulling Floor Operation in Syria after Airstrikes

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned Monday he was mulling going past air strikes and launching a floor operation in Syria following a lethal rocket strike on a Turkish border city.

Erdogan additionally renewed warnings that these attacking Turkey pays dearly, a day after Ankara’s forces launched air raids on bases of outlawed Kurdish teams in northern Syria and Iraq.

“There isn’t any query that this operation be restricted to solely an aerial operation,” Erdogan informed reporters on returning to Turkey from Qatar the place he attended the FIFA World Cup opening.

“Competent authorities, our defence ministry and chief of employees will collectively resolve the extent of drive that ought to be utilized by our floor forces,” Erdogan mentioned.

“Now we have already warned that we are going to make those that violate our territory pay,” he added.

Erdogan spoke after a rocket strike from Syrian territory killed not less than three individuals, together with a toddler, in a border Turkish city.

That strike got here a day after Turkey carried out air raids in opposition to the bases of Kurdish militant teams in northern Syria and Iraq which it mentioned had been getting used to launch “terrorist” assaults on Turkish soil.

The in a single day raids primarily focusing on positions held by Syrian Kurdish forces in northern and northeastern Syria killed not less than 31 individuals, based on the British-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), amongst these attacked, mentioned Turkey launched new air strikes on Monday.

The Turkish raids, codenamed Operation Claw-Sword, got here every week after a blast in central Istanbul killed six individuals and wounded 81.

’70 planes and drones’

Turkey has blamed that assault on the Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration (PKK).

The blast, the deadliest in 5 years, revived bitter reminiscences of a wave of nationwide assaults between 2015 and 2017.

The PKK has waged a bloody insurgency there for many years and is designated a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

Nevertheless it has denied involvement within the Istanbul explosion.

Strikes additionally focused PKK bases in northern Iraq’s mountainous areas of Kandil, Asos and Hakurk, and bases of the Kurdish Individuals’s Safety Models (YPG), in Ayn al-Arab (known as Kobane in Kurdish), Tal Rifaat, Jazira and Derik areas in Syria, Ankara’s defence ministry mentioned.

Ankara considers the YPG to be a PKK-affiliated terror group.

Erdogan mentioned consultations had been ongoing on the energy of Ankara’s army response and added that the weekend strikes had been carried out by “70 planes and drones” who “penetrated 140 kilometres (87 miles) into northern Iraq and 20 kilometres into northern Syria.”

An SDF spokesperson informed AFP that Turkish airplanes launched on Monday recent strikes close to Kobani, a declare confirmed by the SOHR. A strike hit a regime forces place, based on the SDF.

For the reason that rocket assault within the morning, there was an trade of artillery hearth between Turkish forces backed by Syrian proxies and the SDF, based on an AFP correspondent.

Erdogan additionally revealed he had had “no dialogue with (US President Joe) Biden or (Russian President Vladimir) Putin as regards to the operation.”

Turkey’s newest army push may create issues for its complicated relations with its Western allies — significantly the USA, which has relied totally on Syrian Kurdish militia forces in its battle in opposition to IS jihadists.

Turkey has usually accused Washington of supplying Kurdish forces with weapons.

Russia for its half backs pro-Damascus militia within the area.

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