Turkey to launch military operations in Syria

Turkey to launch military operations in Syria

Turkey to launch military operations in Syria

The military operation follows President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call on PKK/PYD terrorists in the Afrin district of Syria's Aleppo province to surrender. A top Syrian Kurdish politician told Reuters last week the United States appeared in no hurry to leave Syria.

Listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the USA and the European Union, the PKK has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 40,000 security forces and civilians - including more than 1,200 since July 2015 alone, when it resumed its armed campaign against the Turkish state following a fragile cease-fire.

Erdogan has repeatedly said that Afrin should be cleared of "terrorists" and in November 2016, he said Turkish troops needed to be deployed there.

Turkey's president vowed "to purge terrorism" across the border in Syria as Turkish forces pounded US-backed fighters with artillery fire on Sunday. But the USA has been arming some of Syria's Kurds to defeat the Islamic State group in Syria - a sore point in already tense U.S.

In December, the Associated Press reported that the USA was developing an expanded training program for Kurdish and Arab border guards in Syria to prevent the resurgence of IS.

Following Dillon's statement, Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said the USA "takes worrisome steps towards legitimizing the PKK terrorist group's Syrian offshoot, PYD-YPG under the pretense of "fight against Daesh".

The Border Security Force, whose inaugural class is now being trained, will be deployed at the borders of the area controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - an alliance of militias in northern and eastern Syria dominated by the YPG.

Late previous year, Turkish troops were then deployed to rebel-held northern Idlib province, south of Afrin, as part of an agreement with Iran and Russian Federation to implement four so-called de-escalation zones in flashpoint areas around Syria.

YPG will fight to "defend our gains, our territories", Roj said. Senior Kurdish official Hediye Yusuf wrote on Twitter that the Turkish operation against Afrin is a "violation" of the Syrian people and undermines worldwide efforts to reach a political solution in Syria. More than 40,000 people in Turkey have been killed since the 1980s after the PKK launched its rebellion.

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