Turkish leader vows wider offensive against Kurdish militia

25 March, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • A young boy waits at a check point near Afrin

The Turkish army and FSA had launched "Operation Olive Branch" on January 20 with the intention of driving enemy fighters out of Afrin, including members of the Kurdish YPG.

After liberating the town center on Sunday, the Turkish army started taking measures to oversee security and order in Afrin. Our goal is to hand the region back to its real owners after clearing it of terrorists, ' Bekir Bozdag, a deputy prime minister, told reporters.

Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Defense Department was concerned about reports Afrin residents no longer have access to clean water.

Also in the cross hairs is Manbij, a town jointly patrolled by U.S- and Kurdish forces and where US bases are housed, triggering concerns over potential friction with USA troops. "We have repeatedly expressed our serious concern to Turkish officials regarding the situation in Afrin", she said. This adds to the already concerning humanitarian situation in the area, with United Nations agencies reporting a displaced population in or from Afrin district in the hundreds of thousands, who now require immediate shelter and other assistance to meet basic needs.

"We encourage all parties to allow the free flow of these resources and humanitarian aid. throughout Syria", he said.

"We remain committed to our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, to include their legitimate security concerns".


The statement said the USA remains committed to its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, but its military operations in Afrin have distracted from the Defeat ISIS campaign and provided opportunity for ISIS to begin reconstituting in some areas.

She told the paper: "Campbell's martyrdom is a great loss to us because with her global soul, her revolutionary spirit, which demonstrated the power of women, she expressed her will in all her actions".

Turkey's president vowed Monday to keep up the pressure against a US -backed Syrian Kurdish militia after his troops captured the Syrian town of Afrin, threatening to expand the military offensive into other Kurdish-held areas across northern Syria and even into neighbouring Iraq.

Hami Aksoy, the spokesman for Turkey's Foreign Ministry, said the Turkish operation doesn't target civilians, and dismissed as " completely groundless" the US claim that its expansion would compromise the fight against Islamic State.

It is understood that the 26-year-old from Lewes in East Sussex, died on March 15 in Afrin, which has been under bombardment by Turkish forces.

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