ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Turkish army would face a strong response from Kurdish armed forces should it invade the northern district of Afrin, north of Aleppo city, and any military incursion would be doomed to fail, according to a Kurdish official.
“Any military operation led by Turkish forces in Afrin will fail as it would elicit a harsh and unexpected response,” Rezan Gilo, head of the Defense and Self-Protection Body, told Kurdistan 24.
Last week, a top Turkish government official revealed his country’s intentions of invading the Kurdish Afrin Canton in northwestern Syria. His remarks followed a series of attacks from Turkey on the US-allied People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions in Afrin.
On Sunday, Turkish military vehicles entered Syria’s Idlib Province under escort of an Islamist group.
The Turkish army deployed massive reinforcements to its outposts on the border in preparations to sending forces into Idlib, which is part of a deal with Iran and Russia to de-escalate the conflict in the area.
“The Turkish incursion is aimed at thwarting the Kurdish project in northern Syria and imposing a siege on Afrin. Turkey is not interested in fighting terrorist organizations,” said Gilo.
The statement was echoed by Kurdish leader Hassan Saleh, a member of the Kurdish National Council and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party in Syria.
“The Turkish government’s goal in Idlib is to prevent Kurds from linking the Kurdish cantons of Syria and declare a federation,” he said.
Ankara already controls a pocket of land since launching the Euphrates Shield Operation in 2016 in northern Syria, acting as a barrier to Kurdish ambitions of uniting the isolated Afrin region north of Idlib with the rest of the self-declared Kurdish-led autonomy in the country’s north.
Erdogan has previously described the Kurdish-controlled area on the southern Turkish border as a “terror corridor” in the making.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany