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With Trump leaving Syria, Erdogan signals Rojava offensive

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Analysis. The withdrawal of US troops from Syria is a decisive victory for Turkey’s President Erdogan, who is now free to clear PKK forces out of Rojava, including by ground invasion.

written by Chiara Cruciati

Topic Middle East and North Africa

December 20, 2018

On Monday, Turkish warplanes hit the village of Bene in Afrin, a Kurdish canton in northwestern Syria. Two civilians were wounded, and there was widespread damage to homes. Less than a week ago, they had struck the Makhmour refugee camp across the border in northern Iraq. Four women were killed, aged between 14 and 73. The government in Baghdad was furious and summoned the Turkish ambassador for explanations.

For years now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had the upper hand, for good and—especially—for ill, in Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan, with one overarching goal: to destroy the democratic confederalism in Rojava and eliminate the PKK, which is operating in the Qandil Mountains in Iraq.

This escalation is causing great fear among Kurdish communities, who are certain that Erdogan’s threat will soon materialize: as he said on Monday, a military operation to the east of the Euphrates ”is imminent.”........

© Il Manifesto Global