Hakan Fidan: PKK&YPG Facilities in Syria and Iraq are Legitimate Targets for Turkey
Last Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told reporters that the assailants who conducted a terror attack and wounded police officers in Ankara last Sunday came from Syria and were trained there. Depending on this, Fidan asserted that all the PKK&YPG infrastructure and energy facilities in Iraq and Syria are legitimate targets for Turkey from now on. Moreover, Hakan Fidan warned third parties to stay away from the mentioned facilities. Following the remarks of Hakan Fidan, the top Turkish security officials had a meeting at Turkish Defence Ministry headquarters. The Turkish Chief of Staff Metin Gürak, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, Turkish Defense Minister Yaşar Güler, the Chief of National Intelligence Organization İbrahim Kalın, and Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya had a meeting and discussed the security threats facing Turkey, signifying acceleration in counter-terrorism operations.
Following the Ankara attack for which the PKK claimed responsibility, Turkey conducted air strikes both in Iraq and Syria against the PKK&YPG members leading to casualties from the organization’s side. Specifically last Thursday, Turkey targeted significant infrastructure, facilities, and power lines in Hasakah and Qamishli that are under the control of the PYD/YPG. In addition to this development, reportedly a Turkish drone flying over a YPG/SDF base where American troops were also based in Northeast Syria was shot down by a US F-16 fighter jet on the grounds that the drone entered US restricted operating zone.
Drone Attacks on Homs Military College Left Dozens of Pro-Assad Forces Dead
Last Thursday, suicide drone attacks were conducted at a graduation ceremony for the Syrian government forces. The attack targeted the Homs military college graduation ceremony (reportedly) in which the Syrian Defense Minister was also present. Reportedly the attack led to the death of more than 50 people, including some generals, and the wounding of at least 100 persons. The attack marks one of the biggest assaults of the Syrian opposition groups on the pro-regime forces in years. Following the attack, the Syrian regime forces conducted retaliatory and indiscriminate attacks on Idlib, resulting in dozens of civilian casualties.
Syrian Embassy Reopened in Riyadh
After almost ten years of being closed, the Syrian embassy in Riyadh was reopened. The reopening of the embassy comes amidst the Syrian regime’s normalization attempts at regional and international levels. According to the media outlets close to the Syrian regime, Syrian Consul Ihsan Raman arrived in Riyadh to resume his diplomatic duty. In May 2023, Riyadh announced the reactivation of the Saudi embassy’s work in Damascus. In the same month, Syria was also readmitted to the Arab League after more than 10 years of being away from the organization.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister: Normalization with Turkey is Impossible Until the Withdrawal of Turkish Troops
Speaking to the Russian outlet Sputnik, Bassam Sabbagh, the Syrian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs once again asserted that the Syrian regime would not normalize relations with Türkiye as long as Turkish troops remain on Syrian soil. Sabbagh claimed that the regime is open to discussions with Ankara but before such a development Türkiye has to withdraw its troops from Syria, showing the regime’s intransigence vis-à-vis a normalization process with Turkey.
Israeli Weapons Quietly Helped Azerbaijan Retake Karabakh
According to the Associated Press, Israel secretly helped fuel Azerbaijan’s campaign to retake Nagorno-Karabakh and supplied it with powerful weapons before its lightning attack last month, which returned the ethnic Armenian enclave to its control.
It reported, citing flight tracking data and Armenian diplomats, that Azerbaijani military cargo planes repeatedly flew between an air base in southern Israel and an airport near Karabakh just weeks before Azerbaijan launched its 24-hour attack on September 19 even when Western governments were urging peace talks.
The relationship between Tel Aviv and Baku is more important than ever, against the backdrop of Azerbaijan’s geographical proximity to Iran, the large armament of the Azerbaijan army, which pumps money into Israeli security industries, in addition to the export of energy from Azerbaijan to Israel.