Aid group warns of crisis in battered Syria rebel enclave
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 10, 2018,
Feb 10, 2018, 12:40
"Religious, cultural, historical and archaeological sites, as well as public facilities, have not been chosen as targets by the Turkish Armed Forces since the very beginning of this operation", the Turkish military said in a statement posted on its Twitter account Wednesday. No more details were given.
Zamir Kabulov, the Kremlin's envoy for Afghanistan and the former Russian ambassador in Kabul, made the claim in an interview Thursday with state news agency Tass. Turkey has agreed to act as a buffer between Syria and Europe, only releasing one asylum seeker into the European Union for every one that gets sent back.
The officials said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed to the summit during a telephone call on Thursday.
Ankara launched an air and ground assault on January 20 against the Kurdish YPG militia in the region, which lies on its border.
More than 13.1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid, including 6.1 million who have been displaced within the country during the almost seven-year war.
The Turkish offensive has also been hampered by infighting among the Islamist rebel groups in northern Syria which operate under the name Free Syrian Army and are Turkey's ally in operation "Olive Branch". He said engineers are trying to fix the damage. There were no casualties.
Iran's president Hassan Rouhani later confirmed Iran's stance on Turkey's invasion and said Turkey's new intervention in Syria must stop because the operation "would bear no fruit".
The fatalities in the region of Eastern Ghouta included 16 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.
USA officials from the president to combat field commanders have tried to strike a balanced line, calling for restraint while acknowledging that Turkey's offensive military operation in Afrin addresses legitimate Turkish security interests.
Its threats against Northern Syria are not only out of opposition to the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, or the region's ruling Democratic Union Party, or PYD, and but out of opposition to Kurdish autonomy itself. USA forces have pivoted their focus from the fight against ISIS to fighting Russian-backed Syrian forces.
Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade-long insurgency in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.
Some NATO member states also have raised concerns over Turkey's military operation in Afrin.
"It is a kind of revenge of Daesh being defeated in many areas".
Now in their alliance with Turkey, almost 10,000 opposition fighters have turned their guns against Kurdish forces.
Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, has been carrying out a military offensive to clear a US -backed Kurdish militia from in a northwestern border town, increasing tensions between Washington and Ankara.
Ultimately, it seems European NATO leaders will remain content to hit Turkey with holier-than-thou demands and condemnations, scoring political points in the process - but with the United States in charge and Turkey crucial to alliance dominance, Ankara will be allowed to get away with just about anything... at least for now.
The second is the PYD's public alliance with the National Coordination Coalition, part of the Syrian political opposition, which has allowed it to infiltrate the opposition and for PYD President Salem Muslim to become deputy chairman of the coalition.
"Are they prepared to serve Turkey's national security interests in Syria forever?"
After being shelled by pro-regime tanks, rockets and artillery, United States troops were able to counterattack, with USA artillery and aircraft killing some 100 pro-regime fighters and forcing them to retreat across the Euphrates River, two U.S. military officials told CNN Wednesday. We will resist for our part.
The sources said the "rhetoric from the United States is changing", and the administration is weighing up something similar to its cruise missile attack on an Idlib airbase last April.
The United States backed the plea but Russian Federation - a longtime ally of Syria's government - shrugged it off. This has enabled the PYD to take control of large swathes of northern Syria where the Kurds reside.