Turkey's offensive in Syria

Brandon Parsons
January 23, 2018

On Saturday, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror groups from northwestern Afrin region of Syria.

Ever since the American remarks about a "border army" in Syria, Turkey has been threatening to take action.

Çavusoğlu capped his scathing criticism by saying France's decision to publicly speak out against Turkey's unilateral military incursion into Syria "would affect" the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies' bilateral relations.

Around half of that force would be retrained fighters from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which is mainly made up of fighters from Kurdish militia the People's Protection Units (YPG).

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday that the United States would "certainly [call] on the Turks to not take any actions of that sort", referring to Erdogan's threat of an invasion.

Bahram Ghassemi, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said January 21, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is monitoring closely and with concern the recent events in the city of Afrin, Syria, and is hoping these operations quickly come to an end and stop the deepening or spreading of the crisis on the border between Syria and Turkey". Akar said Turkey respects Syria's territorial integrity and would remain committed to the negotiations between Iran and Russian Federation regarding Syria.

Tillerson also tried to retain an IS-relevant basis for extending the USA presence by linking the Syrian regime to the group.

"Let us be clear, the United States will maintain a military presence in Syria focused on ensuring ISIS can not re-emerge", Tillerson said.

Three days of fighting since Turkey launched an offensive on the northern Syrian region of Afrin have left at least 54 Syrian combattants dead, a monitor said Monday.

The UN will meet on Monday to discuss the situation.

On Monday, the Afrin villages of Shankal, Qorne, Bali and Adah Manli were reportedly captured, along with rural areas including Kita, Kordo and Bibno, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency.

The YPG also said that it had retaliated against Turkey's ground offensive with rocket fire on Turkish border areas.

Tillerson also indicated in his speech that regime change - once official USA policy under Obama, until it wasn't - remains the goal in Syria - just a more distant goal.

Sener Levent said his newspaper Afrika won't be silenced in calling out Turkey's policies either in the breakaway north of ethnically-split Cyprus or elsewhere. "And so we are concerned about the Turkish incident in northern Syria".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has denied killing civilians, and accused the YPG of emanating "nonsense propaganda and baseless lies".

If only! But until then, the news that the U.S.is indeed supporting a courageous Kurdish force in its ongoing fight against terror is an encouraging development.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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