Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Erdogan says Turkey will not step back from Afrin operation

GettyImages-906375794 Erdogan says Turkey will not step back from Afrin operation
Nellie Chapman | 23 January, 2018, 07:24

Speaking in Istanbul earlier on Sunday, Binali Yildirim, Turkey's prime minister, said Turkish forces had crossed into the YPG-controlled region in Syria at 08:05 GMT from the Turkish village of Gulbaba.

Turkey is pushing to be a key player in the Syrian conflict on behalf of rebels in peace talks in Kazakhstan, where it has been negotiating with Russian Federation and Iran, who represent the Syrian government. Codenamed "Operation Olive Branch", it's the latest chapter in a decades-long conflict between Turkey and Kurdish militants.

Isolating the government of Syria's Bashar Assad, and discouraging trade with his regime, might help extricate him from the nation he has so abused.

According to Iranian media, Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, spoke to his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, about the January 21 operations. Former Turkish foreign minister Yasar Yakis believes an accommodation over the Kurdish question in Syria is a possible area of convergence between the USA and Russian Federation - if political and military developments do not get out of control. The trouble is that Syria's Kurds are allies of the United States, which plans to arm and train a 30,000-man militia over Turkey's vehement protests.

Authorities were also investigating social media posts about the military operation allegedly made by two HDP lawmakers, including a post from the party's spokesman, Ayhan Bilgen, Anadolu said. The YPG says airstrikes have targeted at least 100 locations.

The Syrian Kurdish militia - known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG -called Moscow "Turkey's bloody accomplice in the killing of civilians in the region". One Syrian refugee was killed in a Turkish border town following rockets launched from Syria. In statement released Sunday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), denied it was to blame for the attack on Reyhanli.

"We wish that brotherly Turkey would never be subjected to treacherous terrorist attacks again", said the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's spokesperson.

"The Turkish operation is the result of ill formulated statements from the United States".

"We consider what is happening in Afrin a war against the whole of humanity".

"We must be sure that humanitarian access is guaranteed and that the population does not suffer", she said. "They warned us before they launched the aircraft they were going to do it, in consultation with us". "We'll work this out". He said Turkey's "legitimate security concerns" must be addressed and urged officials to remain centered on the goal of defeating IS.

Differences regarding Syria policy are not the only signs of estrangement between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies. For Ankara, the last straw was a United States plan announced earlier this month to train 30,000 SDF troops to patrol the Turkish and Iraqi borders.

In Erdogan's book, any Kurd with a gun in his hand is a terrorist, and the Syrian Kurds are a terror army.

Is Idlib the next Aleppo?

USA warnings and calls for restraint have failed, and Turkey has invaded Syria's Afrin District, beginning what could be a protracted battle with the US-backed Kurdish YPG. You are also still in Iraq, aren't you? But the Afrin operation could upend that goal, and allow jihadist groups in Idlib, as well as ISIS, the opportunity to regroup.