As known, yesterday was the anniversary of Operation Olive Branch (Afrin Operation).
Last year, Turkey launched military operation (Olive Branch) on January 20 in order to clear Syria’s Afrin region of the YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorism, which Turkey considers a threat to its national security and territorial integrity. On March 18, Turkish troops and the FSA (Free Syrian Army) took control of the Afrin district center.
Turkey had coordinated the operation with Russia. The most important element of motivation behind Afrin Operation can be seen as the following:
Turkish officials had been angered by the YPG’s expansion in northern Syria and its alliance with US, which has backed and later armed the group in the region. The Afrin offensive came after a US announcement that it would train an army to patrol Syria’s borders that would include the YPG as a key actor, which Ankara saw as a national security threat.
Lastly, it can be said that, Turkey will not give up fighting against terrorism to protect her territorial integrity. This has been underlined in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement the day before: “You can’t divide us. We will scratch out the eyes of anyone with designs on our territories.”
I am an Independent Researcher and hold a PhD in Political Science
About: Begum Burak
I hold a Ph.D. degree in Political Science & Int'l Relations (2015). I major in Turkish Politics with a special focus on the post-1950 era. The main areas of my interest also include secularism, civil-military relations, and discourse studies. For 6 years, I have been a freelance blogger, freelance translator and ELT (English Language Teacher). I am also one of the founding members of Ilkmade (Ilkmade is an online platform that moves away from content that degrades the mind to thoughtful, robust discussions that elevate it).