MESOP NEWS UP DATE ROJAVA – WEST KURDISTAN : US-backed Raqqa council says Turkey trying to disrupt anti-ISIS campaign by attacking Afrin

2 July 2017 – ARA News – The US-backed Raqqa Civilian Council in a statement called on the world to stop the Turkish attack on the Kurdish Afrin district in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province, suggesting it could disrupt the campaign of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against ISIS extremists.

“After showing the world that the Syrian Democratic Forces are close to the liberation of Raqqa, the so-called capital of the Daesh terrorist organization, the forces supporting terrorism let by Turkey’s Justice and Development Party government, began to obstruct the liberation forces, by threatening to intervene in northern Syria, especially in Azaz and Afrin, thinking it would hinder the process of the liberation,” the council said on Saturday.

“We in the Civil Council of Raqqa call on the international community to carry out its duties to stop the actions of the Turkish government, and to ask the Turkish government to immediately cease its fascist policies,” the council said.

“The Turkish regime must know that the Syrian people in general, and north Syria in particular, will show a great resistance to defend their land, and will not allow the fascist Turkish government to obstruct the liberation of the city [of Raqqa],” the council said. On 28-29 June, Brett McGurk, the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, met with the Raqqa Civilian Council to discuss stabilization efforts in a post-ISIS in Raqqa. Last Friday, he flew to Turkey to discuss the Raqqa operation with Ankara, although Turkey is heavily opposed to the involvement of the Kurdish-led SDF in Raqqa.

Moreover, Turkish officials have said that they are planning to attack the area of Afrin and Til Rifaat in Aleppo province. In the last few days, Turkey-backed forces and the Turkish army shelled Kurdish positions near Afrin –also known as Efrîn.The local Syrian Kurdish canton administration in Efrîn has launched a campaign on social media backed by Kurdish activists called #TurkeyhandsoffAfrin, calling on the international community to stop Turkey from attacking Efrîn.