Turkish forces reach outskirts of Afrin town: monitor
12 March, 2018, 10:45 | Author: Bert Pena
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkish army would soon enter Afrin. The YPG has been an important ally for the United States in the fight against Islamic State.
Erdoğan said North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey sent troops to conflict zones when requested - giving the examples of Somalia, Afghanistan and the Balkan region - but did not receive necessary support for its Afrin mission in return. Erdogan also denounced North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Sunday, accusing the Western military alliance of failing to back Turkey's campaign.
The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Free Syrian Army, liberated 185 settlements as part of the Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish media reported March 12.
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Ankara views the group as an extension of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it and other countries describe as a "terrorist" organisation.
According to RT, the Turkish leader also reiterated his earlier statements, that his only goal in Syria was the "fight against terrorism". Ankara is wary of the presence of Kurdish militants close to its borders in Syria, and has been opposed to Washington's efforts to train and arm them in the Arab country.
Washington has repeatedly called upon Turkey to stop its "aggression" against the Afrin region, omitting the fact that the US-led coalition itself spent years in Syria without any invitation from the government or global approval, RT reported. The latter has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.
During the campaign it has managed to gain control over all the Afrin region's border areas with Turkey, including several small towns and a large number of villages.
The calls have been dismissed by Turkish officials, who insist they are fighting against "terrorists", while Afrin was not explicitly mentioned in the resolution. Because of possible links with the PKK, Turkey has categorized Syria's Kurdhish militia as a "terrorist organization" and vows to act accordingly against it.
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