- Turkey’s targeting of urban centers with airstrikes and shelling has sent civilians fleeing
- The Turkish offensive happened even though the YPG focused its efforts on battling Daesh
ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan: Turkey’s incursion into northeast Syria has given rise to fears that its military will commit another major atrocity against the war-torn country’s Kurdish minority.
The UN has warned that 1.7 million people in northeast Syria are at risk as a result of Operation Peace Spring, and that up to 300,000 could soon be displaced, which would create a new humanitarian crisis.
Turkey has targeted urban centers with airstrikes and shelling, sending civilians fleeing en masse from their homes.
Ankara has said its military operation is justified since the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) group has links to the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara has been fighting since 1984 in a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people. The US and the EU have also designated the PKK as a terrorist organization.
But the YPG has not sent its forces to help the PKK in its operations in either southeast Turkey or Iraqi Kurdistan, instead focusing its efforts on the war against Daesh in Syria.