Kurdish forces are preparing to repel Turkey’s land invasion

QAMISHLI, Syria (AP) – The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria says his group is ready to repel a Turkish ground invasion.

SDF chief Mazlum Abdi told the Associated Press that his group is preparing for another such attack after Turkey launched a ground offensive in the region in 2019, and “we believe we have reached the level where we can prevent any new attack. At least the Turks will not be able to invade our territories any more and there will be a big battle.”

He added that if Turkey attacks any region, the war will spread to all regions and everyone will suffer.

In response to the deadly explosion in Istanbul on November 13, Turkey has launched airstrikes on suspected Kurdish militant targets in northern Syria and Iraq. The groups denied involvement in the explosion.

After airstrikes from Turkey over the weekend, Turkish officials said suspected Kurdish militants in Syria fired rockets from the Turkish border into Turkish territory on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding 10 others. Abdi denied that the SDF launched attacks on Turkish territory.

Turkey has threatened to escalate from airstrikes to land invasion. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday: “For the past few days, we have been targeting terrorists with our planes, artillery and drones. We will eradicate all of them with our tanks and soldiers as soon as possible.”

Erdogan added that the measures are “for the safety of our country and our citizens.” It is our most legitimate right to go to the place where this security is ensured.”

Turkey’s allies tried to prevent such measures. Alexander Lavrentyev, the representative of the Russian president in Syria, said that Turkey should “show some restraint” in order to prevent tensions in Syria, and hoped that “it will be possible to convince our Turkish partners to refrain from using excessive force on the territory of Syria.” ”

Oppressed Moscow and Damascus have also called on the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria, where it is allied with the SDF, to take a stronger stance to prevent a Turkish ground invasion and such a move to counter the resurgence of ISIS.

Turkey’s airstrikes, which killed a number of Syrian army soldiers operating in the same region as SDF forces, also threatened to derail the nascent rapprochement between Damascus and Ankara. The two have been on opposite sides of Syria’s civil war, but have begun low-level talks in recent months.


Associated Press writer Abby Sewell contributed to this report from Beirut.

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