Turkey’s incursion into Syria

The Turkish government launched an offensive against Kurdish forces located between the borders of Syria and Turkey.

The Turkish army has begun an operation to put an end to what they see as the same terrorist organizations that they have been fighting against for the past 40 years: the YPG and the PKK, located in the West of Turkey and East Syria.

The PKK (the Kurdish Workers Party) has been in a war against Turkey since 1972. They are labeled a terrorist organization not only by Turkey but also others including the US and the European Union. The PKK has complex connections with other organizations around the around the Middle East, including the YPG. While the YPG is not labelled a terrorist organization by others, Turkey thinks of the YPG as merely the PKK by another name.

Turkey and the PKK engaged in peace talks for years, but a truce collapsed in 2015 during the Syrian Civil War. The YPG are active in the war in the area near the border of Syria and Turkey.

In the Spring of 2019, the Turkish government decided to create a “Safe Zone.” Cooperating with the US government, they came up with a couple of agreements.

After US President Donald Trump announced in late 2019 that he would withdraw forces from Northern Syria, Turkey launched “Operation Peace Spring,” entering Northern Syria and engaging YPG forces there.

Countries had mixed reaction to the Turkish operation, some supporting it and others going to far as to call it a genocide against the Kurds.

The US imposed sanctions on Turkey in response.

After a week, during which around 1000 people were killed, a ceasefire was agreed to.

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