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US, Kurdish officials call Turkish threats of military operation in Syria 'serious'

Ankara's threats come amid a spat with NATO allies over Finland and Sweden’s request to join the Western alliance.
Turkish military tanks drive past the town of Ariha on the M4 highway in Syria's rebel-held northwestern Idlib province on May 7, 2020.

Turkey’s National Security Council said on Thursday that Turkey’s “existing and future military operations” along its southern borders were necessary for the country’s security but that they did not target the sovereignty of its neighbors. The ambiguously worded statement left open the possibility that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will make good on threats he made Monday to launch a new offensive targeting US-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

US and Syrian Kurdish officials told Al-Monitor that Turkish threats of intervention to establish a 30-kilometer deep safe zone were being treated as “serious."

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