‘Turkey to launch operation on Syrian Kurdish corridor within a month’

Turkish tanks on their way to Syria during the Euphrates Shield Operation launched in August 2016.

A report in pro-government Turkish daily Kararhas claimed that the Turkish army will launch a new military operation to “break up the Kurdish corridor” in northern Syria, within a month.

Based on military sources, the report on Monday said the foray will target Tel Abyad town, which is on the border with Akcakale on the Turkish side and held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The operation will aim to sever the connection between Kobani and Jazirah cantons the report claimed.

“Military sources in the region have refrained from sharing detailed information due to security and strategy issues, but the operation will target the PYD/YPG corridor. Sources have stated that the objective is to divide the Kurdish corridor starting from the Turkish border and cleanse the area of YPG/PYD. Manbij is also within the scope of the operation and Turkish forces will enter Tel Abyad from Akcakale and head towards Kobani.”

The report also adds that Ankara will use various strategies to convince the US and Russia on the operation. The YPG and YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are being supported by Moscow and Washington in separate areas of Syria.

Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently said Turkey was planning new operations into Syria and Iraq to target Kurdish forces.

Erdogan is expected to meet with US President Donald Trump in May to discuss a Turkish-FSA operation to capture Islamic State (IS) stronghold Raqqa, according to Turkish media.

The US-led anti-IS coalition is currently supporting the 50,000 strong SDF, which has completely isolated Raqqa and is waiting for the final plan to storm the city, the SDF has said.

The Turkish army and affiliated groups have also been carrying out airstrikes and attacks on YPG positions in Syria’s northwestern Afrin region, while also building a wall on the border.