Turkey will do “whatever is necessary” to “cleanse terrorists” along its border with Syria following Kurdish militia attacks on Turkish security posts, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
Attacks that Ankara blames on the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have killed at least three Turkish security personnel in Syria’s north over the last week.
Similar attacks on Turkish posts have intensified in recent months.
The YPG, which Ankara labels as terrorists, separately hit Turkish towns with shells across the border, Cavusoglu told reporters during a joint press conference in Ankara with his Nicaraguan counterpart Denis Moncada.
Turkey controls towns along north-western Syria after a series of military incursions there between 2016 and 2020.
Ankara had in 2019 agreed to halt its assault on the YPG after two ceasefire deals with the United States and Russia, both designed to force the YPG to evacuate the border area with Turkey.
Both the US and Russia have failed to fulfil the agreements, Cavusoglu said on Wednesday, adding the two countries “bear responsibility” for the attacks.
The US on Tuesday condemned the attacks.
Cavusoglu said Washington is “insincere” and arming the YPG. The group was critical in a US-led campaign to defeat Islamic State extremists in Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday signalled a new military offensive to eliminate the YPG, referring to an attack that killed two Turkish police officers on Sunday as “the final straw.”