Ankara Pursuing Offensive Against Kurds in Afrin Despite Damascus' Disapproval

Вторник, 23 Янв, 2018

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, speaking alongside Tillerson, recognized that the Kurds had been a key ally in the fight against ISIS but added: "On the other hand, Turkey does have a legitimate interest in protecting its own borders and own securities as Secretary Tillerson as just said". North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said Turkey has suffered from terrorism and has the right to self-defense but urged Ankara to do so in a "proportionate and measured way".

Speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting, Bozdag also said nobody had the right to impose limits on its operation against a USA -backed Kurdish militia in Syria's Afrin region.

Turkish ground forces pushed into northern Syria last night, a week after the U.S. announced that it would be supporting a Kurdish border force to quell remaining Islamic State insurgents. The U.S. and its allies have scored major battlefield gains against Islamic State over the past year, but finding a stable endgame to the Syrian war, keeping appeased and curbing the rising influence of and Russian Federation has proved more hard. A planned meeting with embassy staffers was canceled because of the shutdown.

The revealed last month that about 2,000 American troops are deployed inside Syria - roughly four times the number previously disclosed by US officials.

An AFP correspondent in the Turkish border village of Hassa saw more Turkish tanks heading towards Syria, enthusiastically cheered by locals. He repeated his criticism of Washington's support for the Kurdish militia, saying the US should have partnered with Turkey in fighting IS. "There's no stepping back from Afrin", he said in a speech in Ankara. The FSA forces said they had captured ten Kurdish fighters.

Access to Afrin is restricted, making it hard to independently verify developments. Then, four months after that in November 2017, Trump also announced that the US Government would be cutting off all future funding to Kurdish forces fighting in Iraq and Syria, and had already begun the process of reclaiming heavy military equipment from them. Joshua Landis, a Middle East analyst at the University of Oklahoma, told The Washington Times he believes the 's policy is to "use this Kurd-majority defense force that the US military is backing and training as a security shield to prevent Iran and Russian Federation from taking over key oil and gas assets in northern".

The Observatory reported the skirmishes and said there also were reports of an exchange of fire to the west, where the private Dogan news agency said a Turkish soldier was wounded by a sniper in Ras al-Ayn.

Agnieszka Brugger, a Greens lawmaker, said the Turkish military operation demonstrated the devastating impact that German weapons sales could have overseas.

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.

Turkish officials say the YPG has fired rockets at several Turkish border towns, an accusation denied by Kurdish commander Siban Hamo and other YPG officials. At least 18 civilians have been killed in Afrin, the Observatory said.

Ali Rizk, expert on Middle Eastern affairs and contributor to Al-Monitor, told RT the Turkish offensive against the Syrian Kurds "is a very significant development, and where it might lead is unknown".

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment when asked if Moscow had known in advance about the operation. Police used tear gas to disperse a rally in Ankara.