Turkey’s Erdoğan “waging psychological war” on Afrin - columnist

There are several factors that need to be in place before Turkey invades the Kurdish-held Syrian province of Afrin, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is “waging psychological war” on the province through his statements, columnist Abdülkadir Selvi wrote in Hürriyet.

“President Erdoğan’s statements of the form ‘we’re on the brink of going in’ over the Afrin operation have not been properly understood. While Erdoğan is talking there is important movement on the ground,” Selvi said.

“Erdoğan is at the same time waging a psychological war.”

Meanwhile, Selvi said, Turkey is sounding out Russia and its NATO allies to ensure that the way is clear for an invasion of the province.

“(Chief of Staff Hulusi) Akar will put his communications (with NATO) in Brussels and the stage we are at onto the table at the National Security Council meeting that is to be carried out tonight (Wednesday),” he said.

“Another important point is that discussions with Russia must end positively before the button is pushed for the operation (to go ahead).”

The operation would be in two stages, with warplanes first destroying key security targets and then the Free Syrian Army and Turkish special forces moving into the area.

However, Selvi said, among the weapons given to the Kurds by the United States were ground-to-air missiles.