Erdogan Threatens to Expand Syria Offensive as the U.S. Establishes New Front-Line Positions
❞Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his forces would press on with a campaign to drive Kurdish fighters from northern Syria, the Associated Press reported.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Iranian and Russian counterparts in Ankara, Erdogan said that Turkish forces would first push eastward into Manbij, which is held by the Kurdish militia known as the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG).
“I say here once again that we will not stop until we have made safe all areas controlled by the (YPG), starting with Manbij,” Erdogan said.
This is not the first time Erdogan has threatened to attack the area, where U.S.-led coalition forces are based. However, his comments come at a time when U.S. forces are said to be establishing new front-line positions outside Manbij in anticipation of a potential attack, according to the AP.
A front-line commander in Manbij, a member of the Manbij Military Council, told the AP that fortified U.S. positions were meant to deter attacks. “It is to protect the area and to ensure that there is no attack from Turkey or from the mercenaries in the area,” said the official on the condition of anonymity.❞