Turkey urged to show restraint against Kurds

Jan 25, 2018, 01:41
Turkey urged to show restraint against Kurds

Turkey's state-run agency says 11 people have been arrested over allegedly engaging in "terror propaganda" through social media postings about Turkey's military offensive into a Syrian Kurdish enclave.

Another fighter, 34-year-old Massoud Baravi, and many of his comrades fear Turkey will be emboldened to attack Kurdish areas east of the Euphrates, where the YPG has routed the Islamic State group. That's where the USA and 23 other countries launched a new organization aimed at identifying and punishing anyone who uses chemical weapons. Both the USA and Turkey might support an autonomous YPG enclave as long as it is not affiliated with the PKK.

Mr. Erdogan launched the Afrin assault, or Operation Olive Branch, soon after reports released saying the United States was training YPG forces to form a "border security force".

Turkey has killed at least 260 Syrian Kurdish fighters and Islamic State militants in its four-day-old offensive into the Kurdish-dominated Afrin region of northwest Syria, the Turkish military said yesterday.

"The whole world knows Daesh (Islamic State) is not present in Afrin", Redur Xelil, a senior SDF official, told Reuters.

A push towards Manbij, in a separate Kurdish-held enclave some 100 km (60 miles) east of Afrin, could threaten USA plans to stabilise a swath of northeast Syria.

Although Pierini and other analysts say Erdogan is known for bluster, the former European Union diplomat adds that "if his words translate into military action, you have a real potential for clashes between the Turkish army and U.S. forces".

Officially, Washington says its alliance with Ankara remains strong and necessary, and it's working with Turkey to address legitimate security concerns and return the focus to defeating ISIS. "If the U.S. doesn't stop this, we will stop it", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuolu was quoted as saying yesterday.

France's top diplomat is urging Turkey to exercise restraint in Syria, expressing concern about the violent Turkish offensive against a Kurdish enclave.

Ankara views the YPG as a threat because of its links to the decades-old Kurdish insurgency in Turkey. A number of analysts say Russian Federation has been engaged for some time in trying to draw Turkey out of the USA orbit of influence.

If Turkey were to fight the force in Manbij - a town to the east in territories controlled by the SDF - it would likely bring further anger from the US. "We call on all our people to defend Afrin and its pride, and contribute in all the related activities", it said, without elaborating. He said Turkish troops have suffered seven or eight losses.

Ankara objects to the fact that the United States is helping the Kurds to create a 30,000-man border security force in northern Syria that it fears could serve as a staging area for a renewed Kurdish insurgency against Turkey. The U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces - comprised largely of Kurdish fighters - helped.

Only recently, Gabriel had publicly come out in favor of approving the modernization of German "Leopard" tanks used by the Turkish army in spite of a significant cooling in bilateral relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners.

Communication between the United States and Turkey has continued over Syria, despite the countries' differences. Mensur Akgün, a Turkish global relations professor, told Al Jazeera that Russian Federation wants Assad to be included in the post-war transition period.

Ankara argues the US has no business arming and training a group that its ally Turkey considers a terror organization and an enemy.

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