Set amid an increasingly violent environment of confrontation between Syrian Kurds and the Turkish government, Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan has been upping the rhetoric against his Kurdish enemies in Syria, much to the delight of his political base at home.
Speaking at a rally over the weekend, Erdogan said “We will take important steps to implement the new campaigns in the near future,” and “We would rather pay the price for foiling plans targeting our future and liberty in Syria and Iraq, than on our own soil,” according to Voice of America.
Erdogan is reportedly massing Turkish forces on the border with Syria and hyping up bringing the fight to the YPG, who Turkey accuses of being linked to the PKK terrorist group operating inside Turkey. Pro-government voices inside Turkey laud Erdogan’s tough stance on terrorism, and say Turkish interests in security have been stymied by Russia and the United States and their support for their respective representatives in the Syrian Civil War.
Both the United States and Russia have used their own soldiers as physical buffers between Turkish forces and their allies on the ground in the past. Elements of the Free Syrian Army supported by Turkey have reportedly been increasing their attacks on the YPG in the Afrin area, in northwestern Syria.