Monday, 23 July, 2018

France's Macron tells Erdogan Syria truce also applies to Afrin

Erdogan slams 'worldwide war of propaganda' against Turkey Saleh Muslim: Syrian Kurdish leader arrested in Prague
Gerardo Duncan | 01 March, 2018, 13:06

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched an incursion into northern Syria, seeking to rout the US -backed Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the People's Protection Units or YPG, from the enclave of Afrin. Five Turkish soldiers were killed in the space of 24 hours, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said.

He said that three Turkish ministries - the foreign ministry, the interior ministry and the justice ministry - would be working with the Czech authorities to bring this about.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told the broadcaster NTV that the deployment of police special forces "is in preparation for the new battle that is approaching".

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

In addition to attacks targeting Turkey, the PYD and the YPG have been accused of attacks targeting civilians and political opponents in areas they control in northern Syria, as well as changing demographic structure by forcing local Arab and Turkmen groups out of their land and villages.

Most of the larger towns in Afrin region, including Afrin town itself, remain under YPG control.

Muslum is being sought for a string of PKK attacks inside Turkey after July 2015, in addition to dozens of cross-border attacks by PYD's armed wing People's Protection Forces (YPG) from northern Syria.

"The president. stressed that the humanitarian truce applied to all of Syria, including Afrin, and should be implemented everywhere and by all without any delay", Macron's office said after a call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey code-named the operation as Operation Olive Branch.

The PKK is branded a terrorist group by the United States and European Union as well as by Turkey, but the YPG is Washington's main military ally in northeast Syria.

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