USA support for the Kurdish-led forces has infuriated Turkey, which views growing Kurdish power as a security threat along its frontier.
The offensive is aimed at the YPG, which Turkey says bears ties with anti-Ankara militants. The operation was briefly halted as Russian Federation closed the airspace over Idlib after one of its aircraft was shot down on 3 February.
It is the latest in a growing feud between Erdogan and the 83,000-member Turkish Medical Association and emblematic of the president’s broader push against traditionally left-leaning professional groups.
“Turkey treats IS like toilet tissues”, he told The Independent.
Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and other top commanders inspected the ongoing “Operation Olive Branch” from an airborne warning and control plane, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on February 9.
Addressing supporters Thursday, Erdogan further stoked concerns over the Afrin operation. “We will come to return the lands to their real owners”.
American and Syrian Kurdish commanders at the Manbij outpost said that low-level clashes between Turkish-backed forces and the USA -backed fighters were a regular occurrence.
Turkey and the Syrian regime are facing off in northwest Syria as fighting spreads and outside powers give up on attempts to implement a supposed nationwide ceasefire. “Sooner or later this will surface”.
Syrian state-run media said Thursday a rare US strike on government-backed troops in eastern Syria killed and wounded dozens of tribal fighters, calling it a new effort “to support terrorism”.
But analysts have noted that no Turkish air strikes against the YPG have taken place in the days since the incident, indicating that Russian Federation has likely closed the air space. This conflict is setting up a potential clash between the USA and Turkey, two allies. Turkey continues to request in strongest terms that the US withdraw their support of the WYP, which the Trump administration has declined to do.
Terry Reintke MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup at the European Parliament said “LGBTQ activists are increasingly silenced in Turkey, and this is worrying”. Last year, Kurdish fighters put on events and produced films dedicated to veteran leftist guerrilla Nubar Ozanyan, a Turkish-born ethnic Armenian who was killed fighting for YPG and against ISIS in Raqqa in August 2017.
Gasimov said Moscow “is about to elaborate a new strategy for Syria”.