Turkish President Erdogan said the war against the Kurdish People would continue to the Iraqi border.
“Now we will continue this process until we entirely eliminate this corridor, including in Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday in Ankara.(Press comment: Ayn al-Arab is known to Kurds as Kobane; Tel Abyad’s Kurdish name is Gire Spi and Ras al-Ayn is Sari Kani in Kurdish. All of the towns are located along the Syria-Turkey border within Rojava, the self-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria.)
Erdogan said that capturing Afrin was a “comma” and “God willing, a full stop will come next,” but he insisted that Turkey is not invading Syria. “Our intention is not to invade, but to carry out operations to cleanse (Kurds) terrorists and eliminate terrorist threats to our country,” he said.
“We told the Iraqi government that they were trying to form another Qandil in Sinjar (Shingal). If you do not solve it, we can enter Sinjar and clean it up there,” he said, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The reference to Qandil is to the base of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) which is a terrorist organization. Qandil is located in northeastern Iraq, whereas Sinjar is located in northwestern Iraq.
Buoyed by the capture of Afrin in Syria, Erdogan is talking boldly about solving Turkey’s Kurdish terrorism problems, despite the humiliation of Turkey’s immediate neighbors and their allies.
He also is challenging Iran. The Turkish border campaign is an embarrassment for Iran because Iran is an ally of Syria and Iraq. Iranian volunteers were the only fighters who came to the assistance of the Kurds in Afrin.
The Turkish and Turkish-backed forces are operating with impunity in Syria. Turkish air power, armor and artillery make them unstoppable by the Syrian Kurdish militias, unless they receive US air support.
In threatening Sinjar, Iraq, Erdogan would commit Turkish troops and proxies to operate more deeply in Iraq than they did during the tenure of Saddam Hussein. Once again, they would operate with impunity because Iraqi forces and Iraqi Kurdish forces could not repel the Turkish army.