US, Russia ‘step up pressure on PKK’ as Türkiye signals land op

US, Russia ‘step up pressure on PKK’ as Türkiye signals land op

US, Russia ‘step up pressure on PKK’ as Türkiye signals land op

The U.S. and Russia increased pressure on PKK to push back its forces to some 30 kilometers away from the Turkish border while the Turkish army is building plans to conduct a land operation in the west of the Euphrates, daily Milliyet has reported.

The Turkish army is continuing its preparations for deployment to possible land operation zones, consulting with Russian military experts in the region in a bid to put an end to the terrorist organization’s attacks on Afrin, its surroundings and the Azaz region, the daily said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had signaled a land operation into northern Syria’s Tal Rifat, Manbij and Ain al-Arab provinces where the YPG, the Syrian associate of the PKK, have its facilities.

Political and military experts from Russia and the U.S. in Syria held talks in Qamishli with the organization’s senior leaders in order to prevent the operation by implementing Türkiye’s demand for the creation of a “safe zone” in an area 30 kilometers deep in the region.

Russia has made a new proposal to the PYD in order to dissuade Türkiye from the operation, asking the organization to withdraw all its military presence on the Turkish border to the M-4 Highway in line with the previous agreement between Türkiye, Russia and the U.S. and to leave the entire region to the regime, according to the paper.

If the organization accepts the offer, Russian troops will also be stationed in the area to be abandoned.

In the meantime, the U.S. also reportedly made a similar proposal to the organization, asking to evacuate the 30-kilometer-deep zone and demanded the deployment of U.S. troops in this area, while Ankara sees the plan negatively.

The U.S. military reinforcement to the region continues as soldiers and weapons were deployed in the Haseke city’s countryside. Around 100 trucks loaded with weapons and armored vehicles entered Syria through Iraq’s al-Waleed border crossing. In the last month, the U.S. made six shipments to the region via Iraq.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar went to the Third Infantry Division Command in Türkiye’s border province of Hakkari’s Yüksekova district, where the Operation Claw-Lock is managed.

Emphasizing that Türkiye’s fight against terrorism continues with determination, Akar said, “Our only target is terrorists in all operations both in northern Iraq and northern Syria. We are working to ensure the security of our country and our borders. Not only us, but also our friendly and brotherly neighboring countries will be rid of the scourge of terrorism. We are determined to close this lock.”

A total of 13 terrorists were “neutralized” in the Zap region in northern Iraq, Akar also announced.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the U.S. and the European Union, has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Turkey, Diplomacy,