A suicide attack outside of Turkey's national security directorate headquarters has become the latest justification for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plan to create a 30-kilometer-deep (18 miles) “safe zone” along the country’s borders with Syria and Iraq to keep armed Kurdish groups away.
However, the downing of a Turkish armed drone by the United States in Kurdish-controlled northeastern Syria on Thursday weakens the likelihood of Turkey launching a ground offensive in the region after dozens of airstrikes this week.
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) — which has fought Ankara since 1984 and is designated as a "terrorist" group by Turkey and much of the international community — claimed responsibility for the suicide attack in Ankara on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan asserted that the two assailants came from Syria, where Kurdish control of areas along the Turkish border is seen as a threat to Turkey’s national security. Ankara considers the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — Washington’s chief ally in the fight against the Islamic State — a "terrorist" group as well due to the links between its main component, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), and the PKK.