Russia Warns Turkey Against Launching Northern Syria Offensive,

Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova cautioned the Turkish government against launching a military intervention in northern Syria on Thursday, one day after Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his intention to launch a punitive expedition into Syria targeting Kurdish militia units in two northern cities.

“We hope that Ankara will refrain from actions that could lead to a dangerous deterioration of the already difficult situation in Syria,” Zakharova said. “Such a move, in the absence of the agreement of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic”—referring to the Damascus-based government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad—“would be a direct violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” […]

Although Turkey and Russia opposed one another in Syria for much of the country’s civil war—in which Russia supported Assad and Turkey supported anti-Assad rebels in the northwest—the two countries have cooperated since 2019, ensuring that Kurdish militia units remain away from the Turkish border and conducting joint patrols.

The United States has also objected to the proposed Turkish operation, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken claiming that “any new offensive would undermine regional stability [and] provide malign actors with opportunities to exploit instability”—referring to ISIS, which has gone underground and maintained a low-level insurgency against Kurdish forces since 2018. Läs artikel