Turkey has issued a warning of potential increased air strikes against Kurdish targets in Syria and Iraq after concluding that the militants responsible for a weekend attack in Ankara came from Syria.
Following the attack, Turkey convened a high-level national security meeting to prepare its response to the incident.
The attack, which targeted Turkey’s interior ministry, was claimed by a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group that is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies. The attack marked the first such incident in Ankara since 2016.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister stated that it had become clear through the work of its security forces that the two terrorists responsible for the attack had come from Syria and received training there. Consequently, he announced that all infrastructure, large facilities, and energy facilities belonging to armed Kurdish groups in Iraq and Syria are now considered legitimate targets for Turkey’s security forces.
This warning from Turkey suggests the possibility of an escalation in its air strikes, particularly involving drone and artillery attacks, against Kurdish targets in Syria, where Turkey has a military presence and supports groups involved in conflicts with Kurdish forces. The situation in Syria is complex, with Turkey viewing the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which dominate the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an offshoot of the PKK. This development may further complicate the dynamics in the region, given the involvement of various actors in Syria’s conflict, including the U.S.-backed SDF.