Turkish soldiers provide food, check-ups in Afrin

25 March, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • A young boy waits at a check point near Afrin

The military offered condolences to the families of the martyred soldiers and wished injured soldiers a speedy recovery.

There, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unleashed his army and Syrian former rebel fighters to take Afrin from a group he sees as aligned with the outlawed Kurdish PKK group fighting within Turkey.

A British woman fighting alongside Kurdish forces in the Syrian region of Afrin was killed in the Turkish-led offensive on the area, a spokeswoman for the forces said Monday.

On Monday, the Pentagon voiced concern that Turkey's military drive could further weaken the battle against Islamic State in southern Syria, where Syrian Kurdish fighters form the backbone of the USA -led campaign.

He said his forces might also go as far as Qamishli, a Syrian town where that country's government controls the airport and a security zone.

Turkey considers the YPG to be a "terrorist" group and the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has waged a bloody three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state. "If you can't handle it, then we may suddenly enter Sinjar one night and clear out the PKKs there".




Kurdish-German footballer Deniz Naki joined a hunger strike in front of the United Nations headquarters in the Swiss city of Geneva on Wednesday to demonstrate against Turkey's military offensive in Kurdish regions of Syria.

Erdogan said Turkish troops and allied Syrian forces would press east, toward the Syrian town of Manbij and areas east of the Euphrates River, including Ras al-Ayn and Ayn al-Arab, the Arabic name for the Kurdish town of Kobani. Ankara has accused the USA of not fulfilling a promise to move Syrian Kurdish fighters out of Manbij.

In his speech before AKP parliamentarians in February, Erdogan ordered the U.S.to oust YPG fighters from Manbij.

But panic has already set in among Afrin's residents, a lot of them Kurds, who fear Turkey will bring in loyalists and some of the 3 million Syrian refugees living inside its borders to repopulate the town.

Hundreds of foreign fighters have joined the YPG and YPJ in Syria, with many saying they wanted to back a "revolution" for participatory democracy and women's rights.

The US State Department calls on Turkey to "exercise restraint", but Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says Ankara has "legitimate" security concerns and had warned Washington prior to the operation. Images have emerged of torched stores, and of men in uniforms and others in civilian clothes walking out of homes with household goods.

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