Inside Story

Why has the Turkish military ramped up operations near Syria?

Turkey says it is determined to secure its southern border.

Tensions have increased along Turkey’s border with northern Syria.

Turkey’s defence ministry says its forces have hit nearly 500 targets in Kurdish-held areas since Sunday.

Turkey is also reporting casualties among fighters from the SDF – the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Turkey’s attacks follow a bombing in Istanbul on November 13, for which the government blames the outlawed Kurdish group, the PKK.

Ankara says it is aiming at bases in Syria belonging to the YPG, a Kurdish group with links to the PKK.

Since 2016, Turkish forces have conducted three ground operations to clear out YPG fighters from northern Syria.

Now, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is promising to launch another military operation.

Who are the major players in this offensive?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Galip Dalay – Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs

Mahjoob Zweiri – Director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University

Lawrence Korb – Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress