March 24, 2018

Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to 'stop spilling Kurdish blood' in Afrin

24 January 2018, 10:07 | Christie Tate

Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to 'stop spilling Kurdish blood' in Afrin

Turkey kills at least 260 Kurdish Islamic State fighters in Syria offensive – military

The Kurd militia controls much of north-eastern Syria, has been a key U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State (IS) fighters there.

Erdogan insisted Turkey had discussed the operation in advance with Russian Federation, and Moscow was in "agreement".

United States intentions to keep troops in Syria for the long-term depend heavily on the idea of the YPG retaining a lot of territory to host those USA troops within.

However, Turkey accuses the YPG of having links with the Kurdistan Workers Party, which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish government on and off for almost four decades.

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

Turkish officials say they're aiming to create a 19-mile-deep "safety zone" inside Syria, with no Kurdish fighters in that area stretching from the Turkish border.

"The future of our relations depends on the step the United States will take next", Cavusoglu said. It is believed that the Afrin operation could take around five or six months.

On Monday, authorities in the capital Ankara banned all rallies, protests, meetings and concerts in the city for as long as the Afrin operation in Syria continues.

Turkish police have blocked off one of the offices of the HDP in an effort to prevent them from holding a press conference about Afrin operation.

"The YPG are extremely well trained".

After the Monday arrests, Human Rights Watch (HRW) blasted Ankara for its "intolerance of criticism," saying Turkish prosecutors were misusing articles of the law to "silence" journalists, government critics, and activists.

Turkey, US in discussion over “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria for sooner end
Kurds in Canada urge Turkey to 'stop spilling Kurdish blood' in Afrin

The Turkish Air Force has regularly carried out raids on PKK rear bases around the Qandil mountains in northern Iraq since then.

The foreign ministry of Qatar - Turkey s closest Gulf ally - gave its unequivocal backing to the operation. We have forces in Afrin, thousands.

"Know that wherever you go out on the streets, our security forces are on your necks", he said, referring to members of the HDP, parliament's second-largest opposition party.

"This is a national struggle".

"In the Afrin area, we had actually gotten to the point where humanitarian aid was flowing, refugees were coming back in. the Turkish incursion disrupts that effort".

"The YPG/PYD and Syrian regime forces should end their blockades of civilians who want to leave Afrin", the head of Turkish Red Crescent said.

Turkey sees the Syrian Kurdish fighters as linked to insurgents fighting for Kurdish autonomy at home.

It also said the number of martyred soldiers increased to three after a soldier was martyred during clashes with terrorists in the operation.

In his strongest comments yet on the offensive, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged Turkey to show "restraint" and warned it could harm the fight against the jihadists. We aim to encircle the city and ensure the militias are evicted.

So far Turkish army-led forces are attacking towards the Barsaya mountain (northeast of Afrin) which if captured will give them direct fire-control over numerous towns and villages that guard the eastern approach to Afrin.

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

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