US Consulate in Erbil warns of "potential Turkish military action" in Syria and Iraq

US Consulate in Erbil warns of "potential Turkish military action" in Syria and Iraq
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The US Consulate in Erbil on Friday warned its citizens of a possible military operation by Turkey in Northern Syria and Northern Iraq

The consulate said it "is monitoring credible open-source reports of potential Turkish military action in northern Syria and northern Iraq in the coming days."

“We continue to strongly advise U.S. citizens to avoid these areas” the travel bureau of the US State Department said on Twitter.

In May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to launch a new operation in northeastern Syria to push Kurdish-led forces further south, to create what it calls a 30 km deep safe zone.

Syrian Kurds fear Turkey might launch a new operation since Turkish authorities blamed Syrian Kurdish groups and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for a bombing attack in Istanbul killed six people on November 13.

Syrian Kurdish groups, including the People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF,) as well as the PKK denied involvement. No other group claimed responsibility.

An unnamed senior Turkish official on November 15 told Reuters that Turkey plans to pursue targets in northern Syria after it completes a cross-border operation against the PKK in Iraq.

The official said that Ankara will clear threats along its southern border "one way or another."

"Syria is a national security problem for Turkey. There is work being done on this already," the official said.

Turkey has conducted three incursions so far into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which it says is a wing of the PKK.

While the PKK is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, Washington allied with the YPG against Islamic State in the conflict in Syria.