“Those who support the terrorist organization will become a target in this battle”
1 Febr 2018 – Turkey has warned the US to end its support of the Kurdish militia YPG in Syria or face confrontation with a Turkish-rebel offensive.“Those who support the terrorist organization will become a target in this battle,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday. “The United States needs to review its solders and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground in such a way as to avoid a confrontation with Turkey.”
Turkey, supported by Free Syrian Army units, launched its attacks on the Kurdish canton of Afrin in northwest Syria almost two weeks ago. The offensive was spurred in part by reports that the US was going to create a 30,000-strong border force, half of which would come from the US-backed, YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey would “drown” the “terror army”.
The US fostered the creation of the SDF in autumn 2015 to fight the Islamic State in northern and eastern Syria. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdistan Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its YPG militia to be part of the Turkish Kurdish insurgency PKK, which has fought Ankara’s security forces for more than 30 years.ieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, joint staff director at the Pentagon, responded to reporters yesterday, “We carefully track those weapons that are provided to [the YPG], we ensure that they, to the maximum extent possible, don’t fall into the wrong hands and we’re continuing discussions with the Turks on this issue.”
McKenzie said the US and Turkey closely coordinated in the region but Washington will also ensure the safety of its troops.The Kurdish administration for Afrin appealed to the Assad regime on Thursday, “We call on the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign obligations towards Afrin and protect its borders with Turkey from attacks of the Turkish occupier.”
Just before the launch of the offensive, the regime threatened to shoot down Turkish warplanes, but its has taken no action so far. The director of the main hospital in Afrin said on Wednesday that it has seen 48 people killed and 86 wounded in the attacks. “We call on the United Nations to stop the Turkish aggression,” Khalil Sabri said at a televised press conference. “The medical situation is getting worse in Afrin, and the medical supplies we have are about to run out.” www.mesop.de