Turkey’s operation in northeastern Syria – Operation Peace Spring – to clear the area and to ensure the safe return of millions of refugees, has evoked strong reactions in Israel, says Anadolu Agency.
Israeli newspaper The Times of Israel reported that a YPG commander spoke to an Israeli radio station last Thursday, asking help from the Jewish state.
Ankara sees YPG as an arm of the PKK and considers both to be terrorist organisations, also listed as a terrorist group by the US, and the European Union.
The Army Radio, which broadcasts the message, did not give his full name but mentioned him as “Alef”. The commander said if Tel Aviv does not intervene, the entire Middle East will be “adversely affected”.
Israeli officials and commentators have been outraged by the US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria. They believed the decision does not serve the long-term Israeli goals in the region. Israeli columnists have described the act as “stabbing Israel in the back”.
Quoting an Israeli official, Israeli media claimed that a YPG/PKK commander called on Tel Aviv on Monday and sought help against the Turkish operation. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed confidence that the Jewish people would not “neglect the plight of Kurds” in northern Syria.
Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin, however, has already made it clear that Turkey’s actions were not against Kurds, but aimed at clearing the northeastern part of Syria of the YPG/PKK members.
“The Europeans should be grateful to us that Turkey’s anti-terror operations, and its military deployment for a ceasefire in Idlib, would strengthen security and stability in northern Syria, and also facilitate efforts for a political solution to the Syrian conflict,“ he said.
On October 10, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had denounced Turkey’s operation in northeastern Syria and said Israel was prepared to offer humanitarian aid to the Kurds in Syria.