Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan declared on Wednesday that all infrastructure and facilities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Defence Units (YPG) in Iraq and Syria are now considered legitimate targets for Turkish armed forces and intelligence units.
Fidan pointed to the recent bombing in Ankara on 1 October, which he attributed to individuals who had crossed over from Syria having received training there. Fidan stated that this latest incident had further justified their position.
Fidan went on to warn “third parties” to distance themselves from PKK and YPG facilities and individuals. He stressed that the Turkish armed forces would respond decisively and that those involved would regret their actions.
Turkish forces have already conducted record numbers of military operations in Kurdish-led northern Syria since 2012. They have also been carrying out cross-border operations against PKK positions in northern Iraq.
Turkey argues that its cross-border air and ground operations fall within the right of self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, but international legal experts and human rights groups say that they are in violation of international law.