Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told al-Arabiya Channel on Friday that the Turkish Armed Forces will continue its operations in Syria and Iraq, North Press Agency reported.
“Our troops will continue striking leaders of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and northern Iraq,” Çavuşoğlu said.
After Çavuşoğlu’s statement, the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil (Hewler) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) issued a security alert warning its citizens not to travel to regions in northern Syria and Iraq.
“U.S. Consulate General Erbil is monitoring credible open-source reports of potential Turkish military action in northern Syria and northern Iraq in the coming days,” the consulate said.
Iraq: We are monitoring credible open-source reports of potential Turkish military action in northern Syria and northern Iraq in the coming days. We continue to strongly advise U.S. citizens to avoid these areas. More at https://t.co/QwIpwPB7RB pic.twitter.com/i9i8DeEQsp
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) November 18, 2022
Çavuşoğlu’s statement came a few days after the 13 November bombing in Istanbul, which killed six people and injured dozens.
Turkey stated that the PKK, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the YPG organised the Istanbul bombing, however, the accused Kurdish groups condemned the attack targeting civilians and declared that they had no connection with the bombing.
The contradictions in the statements made by the Turkish authorities regarding the attack continue to be discussed by the Turkish public. Analysts and some opposition politicians argue that this attack was a conspiracy to legitimise Turkey’s military operations in Syria and to create pre-election fear in the public.