Its official — even Turkey’s prime minister has confirmed: Turkish forces have attacked Kurdish YPG militias in northern Syria, and have demanded the Kurds withdraw from the airbase they recently captured from “moderate” rebels.
Turkey has also confirmed strikes against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA). Ankara claims the attacks (mostly likely shelling, but it’s not 100% clear) were in retaliation for mortar fire from Syrian forces. While this scenario isn’t impossible, most likely Turkey is looking to provoke the Syrians into firing the first shot — then a direct military intervention would be “justified” in the eyes of NATO/The New York Times.
Well, Turkey might just get what it wants:
— curdistani (@curdistani) February 13, 2016
For its part, the US has allegedly asked Turkey to stop attacking Kurdish and SAA forces:
#BREAKING U.S. asks Turkey to stop the bombing of the Kurds and the forces of the regime in Syria
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) February 13, 2016
Whether the request is genuine is another story. Russia however, seems to be completely unamused by Ankara’s latest shenanigans. According to sources in Damascus:
Turkey is now warning of a “massive escalation” in Syria over the next 24 hours. Make sure to check back with us regularly for updates.