Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Erdogan vows to Putin to continue advancing on Afrin

Erdogan vows to Putin to continue advancing on Afrin

Bahceli warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about his potential support for the YPG/PKK-ISIL in Afrin region.

Details of the deal were not announced by either side, and Kurdish officials said talks were still underway.

The operation that is being conducted in the Afrin region has been going on for some time now, and as up till now, 1641 terrorists have been taken-out. But while Washington has a military presence in the much larger area of Syria the YPG and its allies control further east, it has not given any support to the YPG in Afrin. A return to the area, where a potent mix of regional and global powers have boots on the ground, could further complicate the situation and lead to unwanted confrontations.

Turkey maintains its offensive is aimed exclusively at eliminating Kurdish YPG militants and that its troops would withdraw once the operation achieves its goals.

Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers´ Party (PKK), an insurgency in Turkey which is listed as a terror organisation by the U.S. and the European Union.

This operation was launched on the 20 of January.

"If Assad regime forces enter Afrin it would give a green light to dividing Syria, such a move would cause disaster in the region and would have serious consequences", Bozdağ said.

Speaking in the Jordanian capital of Amman, Mevlut Cavusoglu added that "if the regime is entering to protect the YPG, then no one can stop us, stop Turkey or the Turkish soldiers". "Turkey, however, did not name the Syrians as terrorists and said that 'the operation is necessary not only for Turkey and its security but also for the Syrians", the operation aims to deliver peace.

Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States has armed the YPG as part of an alliance it backs in Syria against Islamic State, causing widespread anger in Ankara.

It was not clear who, exactly, would enter Afrin.

Syrian state TV says pro-government forces will begin entering the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin in the country's northwest "within hours".

Reports had circulated over the past days that regime forces would enter Afrin.

Previously, the regime's main backer Russian Federation offered the Kurdish YPG forces in Afrin a deal in which it would prevent a Turkish attack if they gave up control of the area to the government, which they refused. But they have also indirectly worked together in the past, and Turkey represents a common enemy.

The Turkish officials detailed the call on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations. A direct clash between Turkish and Syrian government forces risks a broader confrontation between the two states' armies, potentially widening the war.

The Turkish army says 32 of its troops have been killed.

A second Syrian Kurdish official said no pro-government military forces were arriving in Afrin on Monday.

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