BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:00 P.M.) – Turkey has shifted its attention from northwest Syria to the territories controlled by the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) east of the Euphrates River.
During his press conference this afternoon, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his forces are preparing to secure the the territories east of the Euphrates, as they continue their operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and their YPG allies.
The Turkish regime has specifically eyed the YPG-held territories in the Al-Raqqa, Al-Hasakah, and Deir Ezzor governorates; these provinces currently have no rebel presence and border the government-held areas.
Erdogan used the YPG’s presence in the Afrin region of Aleppo in January to launch a big operation to expel the Kurdish forces from the area.
Then in June, the Turkish regime was able to secure a deal with the U.S. military to force the YPG to withdraw from the key town of Manbij.
While Turkey maintains the YPG has yet to fully withdraw from Manbij, they did prove they could pressure the U.S. to accept their terms.