Stress rises as Turkey sends troops to YPG stronghold

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The US has urged Turkey to make utilize of restraint in its operation towards the Syrian Kurdish community YPG within the enclave of Afrin.

The US considers the YPG its closest ally in Syria, viewing it because the most attention-grabbing ground power within the fight towards the Islamic Convey of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) community.

The statement comes accurate hours after Turkey despatched ground troops into the YPG-managed area in Syria on Sunday.

Turkey considers Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Celebration (PYD) and its armed wing, the YPG, « terrorist groups » with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Celebration (PKK), which has waged a a protracted time-lengthy fight inner Turkey.

It fears the establishment of a Kurdish corridor along its border.

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

He said Turkey intended to determine a 30km « stable zone » in Afrin.

« At some stage within the day we dangle heard the sound of jets within the sky, intense artillery and machine gun fire, » Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Turkey-Syria border, said.

‘Neatly-trained’ power

In step with estimates, there are between Eight,000 to 10,000 Kurdish YPG warring parties within the Afrin area.

« Turkey says it is miles going to proceed its operation unless it has pushed the YPG a long way from its borders, » our correspondent said.

No one is conscious of how lengthy this would well well resolve on or what the implications could well well well be.

« The YPG are extremely nicely trained. They know the terrain in Afrin but Turkey has superiority within the skies and that is a helpful support. »

Reacting to Turkey’s ground come into Syria, France has referred to as for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

« Ghouta, Idlib, Afrin – France asks for an urgent meeting of the Security Council, » Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said on Twitter on Sunday.

Le Drian said he had talked to his Turkish counterpart within the day and referred to as for a whole ceasefire in Syria.

France’s set up an articulate to for the emergency meeting comes one day after the Turkish operation towards the YPG began.

On Saturday, Turkish jets implemented air strikes towards targets in Afrin.

Russia, which controls the airspace over Afrin, withdrew hundreds of its infantrymen deployed shut to the metropolis prior to Turkey’s operation began.

Several diplomats and mission chiefs of the permanent people of Security Council – the US, Russia, the UK, France and China – were introduced up to the designate on the trends in Afrin.

Erdogan’s warning

For his half, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday he hoped the militia operation will be performed « in an extraordinarily short time ».

However Erdogan also warned legitimate-Kurdish opposition supporters in Turkey to no longer raise protests.

« Know that in case you scramble out on the streets, authorities are to your necks, » he told 1000’s of supporters in Bursa.

« Right here’s a national battle and we are in a position to crush somebody who opposes our national battle. »

Earlier, Anadolu news agency reported that Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) warring parties had developed in direction of Afrin within the early hours of Sunday, supported by Turkish troops.

The YPG confirmed the come, announcing two villages in Afrin’s Bilbil district shut to the Turkish border came below attack.

About 25,000 Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels were joining the Turkish militia operation in northern Syria with the just of recapturing Arab towns and villages held by the YPG, a Syrian riot commander told Reuters news agency on Sunday.

As early as Friday, 1000’s of FSA warring parties had already been mobilised in Turkey’s Hatay province and Syrian areas east of Afrin.

Indispensable Yasser Abdul Rahim, who shall be the commander of Failaq al-Sham, a first-rate FSA riot community within the operations room of the selling campaign, said the rebels didn’t scrutinize to enter Afrin but encircle it and expel the YPG.

« We dangle no hobby in coming into the metropolis most attention-grabbing the militia targets right thru the metropolis and the villages spherical it. We just to encircle the metropolis and possess sure the militias are evicted. We are in a position to also no longer fight within the metropolis as we have not any downside with civilians, » he said.

A prime just of the militia operation changed into once to recapture Tel Rifaat, a metropolis southeast of Afrin, and a string of Arab villages the YPG captured from rebels in February 2016, using out tens of 1000’s of inhabitants, Abdul Rahim said.

Smoke rises from Syria’s Afrin area following the Turkish operation on Saturday [Reuters]

 

« The duty of the Free Syrian Army is first to glean sixteen Arab towns and villages occupied by the foreign militias [YPG] with the abet of the Russian air power, » Abdul Rahim told Reuters in a phone interview from inner Syria.

The stopping Abdul Rahim changed into once regarding forced on the least a hundred and fifty,000 residents of these villages to hover to Azaz.

They’re sheltering in camps on the Turkish border and rebels instruct they’ve no longer been allowed to scramble relieve to their homes.

On Saturday, Erdogan said the operation in Afrin could well well well be followed by a push within the northern metropolis of Manbij, which the US-backed Kurdish forces captured from ISIL in 2016.

 

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