Turkey will launch a military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, east of the Euphrates. It is in any case the threat made this Sunday, August 4 by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish president reportedly warned Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the US, which relied on the Kurds to fight the Islamic State group, for the imminence of the offensive.
With our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer
Since the first Turkish army offensive in northern Syria in August 2016, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made the elimination of Kurdish forces there the almost exclusive basis of his Syrian policy.
Ankara refuses to see these Kurdish fighters establish a kind of mini-state along its border, which would complete their international legitimacy and could serve as a rear base for attacking Turkish territory.
Two brakes delay the project of Recep Tayyip Erdogan so far. First, it must obtain the green light from Moscow, the main support of the Syrian regime. Next, Kurdish forces are supported in the field by Western, mainly American, military whose security would be threatened in the event of a Turkish offensive.
To avoid this, Washington and Ankara have been negotiating for months for the establishment of a so-called "security zone" that would remove Kurdish fighters from the Turkish border.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan's threats are a way to put pressure on the United States, while an American delegation is in Ankara on Monday to try to move the negotiations forward.