Turkey Announces New Incursion Into Northern Syria

    Image copyright: Anadolu Agency [via Middle East Monitor]

    The Facts

    • Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wed. that Turkey would start a new operation in Syria targeting what it deems terrorists in Tel Rifaat and Manbij, two northern areas controlled by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey sees as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    • Ankara seeks to impose a 30-km "safe zone" along its southern border with Syria, which will later be extended "to other regions," Erdoğan affirmed in a speech to lawmakers from the ruling AK Party.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Turkey has every right to take action against YPG terrorists in order to defend its national security. Since the US, but also Russia, have failed to fulfill their commitments to create safe zones in northern Syria, Ankara must take decisive action to end the humanitarian tragedy in its own country.

    Narrative B

    Erdoğan, with his neo-Ottoman delusions, believes he has a free hand to invade northern Syria at the expense of the Kurds, simply because NATO depends on Turkey to support its position on Ukraine and the question of Finland and Sweden joining NATO. Under his autocratic leader, Turkey has become a disruptive element within the Alliance. The time has come to seriously discuss whether it should still be part of NATO.

    Nerd narrative

    There is an 89% chance that Turkey will continue to be a NATO member until January 1, 2025, with no suspension, expulsion, or voluntary withdrawal during the intervening period, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our daily newsletter