Last Update 21:38
Saturday, 19 October 2019

Turkey sends special forces for next stage of Afrin offensive

Reuters , Monday 26 Feb 2018
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2157
Share/Bookmark
Views: 2157

Turkey deployed police special forces to the northwestern Syrian region of Afrin on Monday for a "new battle" in its five-week campaign against the Kurdish YPG militia, despite a U.N. call at the weekend for a ceasefire across Syria.

Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies, supported by Turkish air strikes, have pushed the Kurdish fighters back from most of Turkey's border with Afrin since they launched their assault on Jan. 20.

"The entrance of the special forces is in preparation for the new battle that is approaching," Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told NTV broadcaster.

Dogan news agency reported that gendarmerie and police special forces teams entered Afrin from two places to the northwest of the region, saying they would take part in urban fighting and holding villages which Turkish forces have seized.

Most of the larger towns in Afrin region, including Afrin town itself, remain under YPG control.

Turkey says that Saturday's U.N. Security Council demand for a 30-day truce across Syria does not apply to its "Operation Olive Branch" offensive in Afrin.

"Some regions such as eastern Ghouta are part of the U.N.'s ceasefire decision in Syria, but Afrin is not one of them," said Bozdag, who is also the government spokesman. "The decision will not impact our Olive Branch operation... in the Afrin region."

The U.N. Security Council resolution demands all parties "cease hostilities without delay... for a durable humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syria".

The cessation of hostilities does not apply to military operations against Islamic State, al Qaeda and groups associated with them or other groups designated as terrorist organisations by the Security Council.

Turkey says the YPG is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-old insurgency in southeast Turkey. The PKK is branded a terrorist group by the United States and European Union as well as by Turkey, but the YPG is Washington's main military ally in northeast Syria.

 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.