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UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:49 pm

Turkey makes deal with Nusra Front to control south of Afrin

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) issued a call in order for the protection of Afrin against external attacks.

As Turkey makes preparations for a military operation against al Qaeda-linked militants in Syria’s Idlib province, reports indicate Turkish forces are conducting surveillance in areas overlooking the Kurdish canton of Afrin, making a deal to assume control in the area.

Multiple reports stated that Turkish forces, escorted by members of Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front with ties to al Qaeda, entered Idlib province on Sunday from Turkey’s Hatay province and approached the Idlib-Afrin border.

There, they made a deal for the Turkish forces to take control over areas in Idlib province that border the Kurdish YPG-controlled Afrin, according to a report from the UK-based conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Monday.

The Observatory said the Turkish “reconnaissance forces” traveled through Idlib province and into western Aleppo while being “protected” by Tahrir al-Sham.

Several other reports confirmed the Turkish forces were seen coordinating with Tahrir al-Sham near Afrin.

The Turkish forces came within kilometres of Afrin in the Darat al-Ezzah area where they deployed four vehicles, AP reported on Sunday, citing a local Kurdish source.

Another local source told Reuters on Sunday they had seen Turkish military vehicles traveling in Idlib with a Tahrir al-Sham escort, sending a reconnaissance team to areas that overlooked Afrin and Aleppo.

The same source, a senior Syrian rebel, told Reuters mortars were fired towards the Turkish reconnaissance team from areas under YPG control.

The Turkish military confirmed on Monday that it had begun reconnaissance activity in Idlib in preparation for an offensive, the first step towards establishing a de-escalation zone in the province as per an agreement reached by Turkey, Russia, and Iran in the Astana peace talks.

Turkey will be backing elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the offensive.

According to state-run Anadolu Agency, blocking Kurdish expansion in the area is also a goal of the operation. Ankara considers the Syrian Kurdish armed group YPG and its political wing the PYD as extensions of the PKK, a named terror group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that they would not allow the Kurds to establish a “terror corridor,” linking its territories in eastern Syria to the Mediterranean Sea.

Afrin is the western-most Kurdish-controlled territory in northern Syria, commonly known as Rojava. It is physically separated from the eastern territories, however.

If Turkey succeeds in exerting control in Idlib, Afrin will be nearly completely surrounded by Turkey and its allied FSA. To its southeast, Afrin also borders Damascus-controlled Aleppo province.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/091020171
Last edited by Anthea on Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 19 times in total.
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UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

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Re: Turkey makes deal with Nusra Front to control south of A

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:07 pm

Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) are worse than ISIS

We all knew that Turkey supported ISIS but for them to unite with al-Nusra is far FAR worse

It is believed that if and when ISIS are defeated, most of it's remaining supporters would join with al-Nusra

The main difference between al-Nusra and ISIS being al-Nusra's ability to work with other dangerous radical Islamic groups

In working with al-Nusra Turkey has shown itself to be a dangerous radical Islamic country - this does not bode well for anyone especially Kurds :shock:

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/091020171
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Re: Turkey makes deal with Nusra Front to control south of A

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:51 pm

Erdogan threatens to ‘cleanse’ Afrin of YPG

Turkey’s president has once again threatened military action against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

“We need to cleanse Afrin of the structure there called the YPG terrorist organization,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his AK party on Friday.

Afrin is the western-most canton of Rojava, the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria under control of the PYD and its armed forces of the YPG. Ankara believes the Kurdish groups are extensions of the PKK, a named terrorist organization. The PYD and YPG follow the doctrine of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, but insist they are distinct organizations. :ymdevil:

Turkish forces are currently setting up observation points in Idlib province, on Afrin’s southern border. Six of the planned 12 posts are established, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

Turkey’s military operations in Idlib are purportedly to establish a safe zone in the province, as agreed by Turkey, Russia, and Iran during the Astana process seeking to bring Syria’s civil war to an end.

The first observation posts, however, are overlooking Afrin. “We need to be dominant at observation points in Idlib. We have to,” said Erdogan. “If not, different terrorist groups will try to invade those areas.”

Turkish forces have repeatedly carried out attacks on the Kurdish forces in Afrin. The YPG publicizes near daily attacks and on Friday stated that the Turks had stepped up their activity, bringing heavy weaponry to the border.

The YPG are receiving US support in the war against ISIS. The Kurdish force is the leading faction within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who defeated ISIS in Raqqa and are currently battling the group in Deir ez-Zor province.

Ankara has complained that its NATO ally the United States has backed the Kurdish force and has reported that weapons supplied to the SDF had been used to attack Turkish forces in Turkey, despite US reassurances that the arms would not make their way into PKK hands.

Erdogan said on Friday that he was “greatly disappointed by the United States not keeping its promises.”

Problems that could have been easily solved were ignored and he “doesn’t want the same thing to happen in Afrin.”

“Don’t try to trick us by saying that the SDF is a democratic establishment. It is a terrorist organization,” he declared. “We know who’s who.”

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/171120171
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Re: Erdogan once again threatens to ‘cleanse’ Afrin of YPG

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:40 pm

Ankara accuses Syrian Kurds of ‘ethnic cleansing’

Turkey said it will continue extending its observer mission in Syria’s Idlib province in order to deter what it described as “ethnic cleansing” by Kurdish groups in northern Syria. At the same time, the YPG reported heavy artillery fire by Turkish forces on villages in Afrin.

“PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organization’s efforts to carry out covert ethnic cleansing by changing the demographic structure of Syria are against international law and human rights, and, therefore, it is unacceptable,” read a statement issued by the National Security Council after a meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

Turkey used a similar accusation of ethnic cleansing when launching its military operation Euphrates Shield in summer 2016, saying that the Kurdish forces were taking control of areas with predominantly Arab populations.

Saying that Turkey must take every measure to ensure its security along its border with Syria, the council said Turkey’s armed forces had been successful in its observer mission in Syria’s Idlib province and “peace and security will literally be achieved when this mission is carried out near western Aleppo and Afrin.”

Turkish Armed Forces completed work on their third observation point in Idlib on November 19.

They will reportedly set up 12 such sites, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkey began its operations in Idlib in October in order to monitor a ceasefire and establish a de-escalation zone under agreements reached in Astana by Turkey, Russia, and Iran.

Turkey is also using the mission to observe the Kurdish canton of Afrin, north of Idlib. Kurdish forces say the Turks have frequently fired at their positions and civilian locations in Afrin.

On Tuesday evening, the YPG announced areas in the countryside of northern Afrin were under heavy artillery fire from Turkish forces, adding “civilians of three villages are in danger because of shelling.”

Last week, Turkey accused the YPG of opening fire on them across the Afrin-Idlib border.

Turkey considers the armed YPG and its political wing the PYD as extensions of the PKK, a named terrorist organization. The Syrian Kurdish groups deny the charge.

The YPG is the dominant force within the US-backed SDF battling ISIS in northern Syria.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/281120172
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Re: Erdogan: Syrian Kurds will be cleared from Turkey’s bord

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:50 am

Erdogan: Syrian Kurds will be cleared from Turkey’s border

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will eliminate Kurdish “terrorists” from the Turkey-Syria border referring to the US-backed People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria

“We will clean Afrin of terrorists, we will clean Manbij of terrorists. We will clean Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli of terrorists,” Erdogan said at a meeting with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sunday in the central province of Karaman, state media Anadolu Agency reported.

The YPG claimed on Wednesday that they killed two Turkish soldiers and wounded others trying to cross the border near Kobane.

The Syrian Kurdish force said the Turkish forces tried to “transgress” the border near the village of Ashme, west of Kobane, in the early hours on Wednesday.

The YPG and the female YPJ responded in force that resulted in blowing up a military vehicle “full of ammunition that caused the death of two Turkish soldiers” and wounded an unspecified number of other soldiers, a YPG statement read.

Turkey did not immediately confirm the incident or the casualties.

Turkey has constructed a wall along its border with Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan mainly to prevent movements of the YPG forces across the border.

It considers the YPG and its umbrella organization, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as an extension to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a named terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

The YPG and SDF deny any connection to the PKK.

Erdogan declared in late November after an exchange of fire between Turkish military and the YPG across the Afrin-Idlib border that they will “cleanse Afrin of the structure there called the YPG terrorist organization.”

The YPG have regularly reported exchanges of fire with Turkish forces in the Afrin area, accusing the Turks and their allied Syrian militias of daily attacks.

“They are not going to be able to seize a tiny part of our land,” the YPG stated last month, vowing to defend Afrin.

Turkey began military operations in Idlib province in October in order to monitor a ceasefire and establish a de-escalation zone under agreements reached in Astana by Turkey, Russia, and Iran.

Turkey is also using the mission to observe the Kurdish canton of Afrin, north of Idlib. Kurdish forces say the Turks have frequently fired at their positions and civilian locations in Afrin.

The YPG is the dominant force within the US-backed SDF battling ISIS in northern Syria and were successful in liberating Raqqa in June from the militant group.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/18122017
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Re: Erdogan: Syrian Kurds will be cleared from Turkey’s bord

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:07 pm

Erdogan demands Latuff’s caricatures banned

866

Political caricaturist Carlos Latuff announced from his Twitter account that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s lawyers have appealed to Twitter for an access ban for his caricatures. 8-}

Famous Brazilian caricaturist known for his caricatures criticizing the political atmosphere in Turkey and the government Carlos Latuff announced that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has appealed for an access ban on his caricatures.

Latuff shared on Twitter President Erdoğan’s lawyer Ahmet Özel’s appeal to have his caricatures banned with the following message in Portugese, Turkish and English:

“Lawyers of #Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pressure @Twitter to delete content from 80 posts, including 11 of my 'toons, in a clear act of censorship! Is this the Turkish democracy? Why Erdogan wants to prevent the Turkish to see my 'toons? What's he afraid of?”

Lawyers of #Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pressure @Twitter to delete content from 80 posts, including 11 of my 'toons, in a clear act of censorship! Is this the Turkish democracy? Why Erdogan wants to prevent the Turkish to see my 'toons?What's he afraid of?@CRNetInt pic.twitter.com/ydYwgA0NE2
— Carlos Latuff (@LatuffCartoons) December 18, 2017
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Re: Erdogan demands Latuff’s caricatures banned

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:36 pm

Euphrates Shield operation to continue in Afrin, Manbij: Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again said the time has come to counter militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) aiming to form a corridor along Turkey’s borders in northern Syria.

“We will complete the process that we launched with the Euphrates Shield Operation in Afrin and Manbij and we will guarantee peace and security on all our borders,” he said on Jan. 9 during his address to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Reiterating long-running criticism of the U.S.’s support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Erdoğan blasted armed support to “terror organizations” in Syria and Iraq, saying “4,000 trucks of arms” were delivered to Syrian Kurdish fighters. He accused the U.S. of lacking “sincerity” in its relations with Turkey and said Ankara must therefore “stand on its own feet.”

Diplomatic ties between Ankara and Washington have been strained by several disagreements, particularly over the U.S.’s partnership with the YPG in the anti-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) campaign.

Ankara sees the YPG as a terrorist group linked to the PKK, which has waged a deadly insurgency in Turkey for over three decades.

Aid continued despite pledge U.S. President Donald Trump had on Nov. 24 told Erdoğan that he had issued instructions that the U.S. would no longer provide weapons to the YPG, according to a statement after the conversation from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

However, despite Trump’s pledge the partnership has continued, drawing ire from Ankara.

Meanwhile, Erdoğan also touched on the independence referendum held in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in September, praising “the firm stance of the people of eastern Turkey” in not being drawn into the controversy.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/euphra ... gan-125482
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Re: Euphrates Shield operation to continue in Afrin, Manbij

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:25 am

Erdogan threatens Afrin with military operation

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Afrin once again and said that Turkey can start a military operation within a week.

Speaking at his party’s provincial congress meeting in Elazig, Erdoğan said that Turkey would conduct military operations against Afrin and Manbij if the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) do not withdraw.

He also confessed that the Turkish military presence in Idlib is against the YPG and YPJ in Afrin.

Erdogan added that Turkey was disappointed with the United States for not keeping its promises about YPG.

Recently Turkish army deployed thousands of troops in Afrin-Turkey border.

After the speech by Erdogan, Turkish army opened artillery fire against YPG positions in Afrin.
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Re: Erdogan threatens Afrin with military operation this mon

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:49 am

Turkey says it will oust Kurdish militants from Afrin, Syria
By Philip Issa and Zeynep Bilginsoy

Turkey’s president vowed to oust Kurdish militants from Afrin, northern Syria, on Saturday as Syrian rebels also said they are bracing for such an operation.

Speaking in the eastern province of Elazig, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, that Turkey will intervene if the “terrorists in Afrin do not surrender.”

His remarks came as Turkey’s military shelled Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave along Syria’s frontier with Turkey, saying it was responding to harassment by the YPG, according to the Turkish station NTV.

Turkey regularly shells Afrin but Saturday’s assault was particularly intensive and lasted more than two hours, said YPG spokesman Rojhat Roj.

“We are seeing preparations” for a Turkish push into Afrin, said Roj.

“The YPG will defend itself against any aggression,” he added.

Turkey considers the YPG a terror group and an extension of the Kurdish insurgency within its own borders.

The YPG and its political counterpart, the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, say they want regional autonomy within a federalized Syria. They control nearly 25 percent of Syrian territory, shrewdly striking alliances with the U.S. and Russia to establish the Kurds as a powerful force on the ground in Syria’s civil war.

But the Afrin region is detached from the bulk of Kurdish-controlled territory in northeast Syria. It’s surrounded on three sides by Turkish forces and Syrian rebels backed by Ankara. And while the U.S. military maintains bases in the Kurdish territory in northeast Syria, it is not believed to be present in Afrin.

A Syrian opposition news site, Baladi News, quoted a rebel commander on Thursday as saying that joint Turkish military and Syrian rebel operations to attack Afrin could begin “at any moment.”

Moaz Abu Omar of the Failaq al-Sham rebel faction said ground operations would likely be backed by Turkish air power.

Turkey has already stationed troops and armored vehicles in rebel-held territory on either side of Afrin in northern Syria. The Turkish military entered rebel-held Idlib in October to monitor “de-escalation zones” between rebels and the Syria government, following an agreement with Russia and Iran to restore order in Syria. Kurdish officials say the Turkish deployment is a cover for operations against them.

“The Turkish government needs to realize a military operation will not succeed,” said Kurdish political official Rezan Hiddo. The YPG is reporting artillery strikes to Russian military observer units stationed in Afrin, he added.

Erdogan has repeatedly said that Turkey will not allow Kurdish militants to form a “terror corridor” in northern Syria.

“They will see how we will mess them up in not even a week,” said Erdogan on Saturday.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/mi ... d435ecb9fa
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Re: Erdogan threatens Afrin with military operation this mon

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:19 pm

U.S.-led coalition helps to build new Syrian force, angering Turkey

The U.S.-led coalition is working with its Syrian militia allies to set up a new border force of 30,000 personnel, the coalition said on Sunday, a move that has added to Turkish anger over U.S. support for Kurdish-dominated forces in Syria.

A senior Turkish official told Reuters the U.S. training of the new “Border Security Force” was the reason that the U.S. charge d‘affaires was summoned in Ankara last week, and President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said the development was worrying and unacceptable.

The force, whose inaugural class is currently being trained, will be deployed at the borders of the area controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - an alliance of militias in northern and eastern Syria dominated by the Kurdish YPG.

In an email to Reuters, the coalition’s Public Affairs Office confirmed details of the new force reported by The Defense Post. About half the force will be SDF veterans, and recruiting for the other half is under way, the Public Affairs Office said.

The force will deploy along the border with Turkey to the north, the Iraqi border to the southeast and along the Euphrates River Valley, which broadly acts as the dividing line separating the U.S.-backed SDF and Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russia.

U.S. support for the SDF has put enormous strain on ties with NATO ally Turkey, which views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) - a group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Turkey and the United States.

Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Washington “is taking worrying steps to legitimise this organisation and make it lasting in the region”.

“It is absolutely not possible for this to be accepted,” he said, adding that Turkey “will continue its fight against any terrorist organisation regardless of its name and shape within and outside its borders”.

Syria’s main Kurdish groups have emerged as one of the few winners of the Syrian war and are working to entrench their autonomy over large parts of northern Syria.

Washington opposes those autonomy plans, even as it has backed the SDF, the main partner for the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State in Syria.

The coalition said the BSF would operate under SDF command and about 230 individuals were currently undergoing training in its inaugural class.

”Efforts are taken to ensure individuals serve in areas close to their homes. Therefore, the ethnic composition of the force will be relative to the areas in which they serve.

“More Kurds will serve in the areas in northern Syria. More Arabs will serve in areas along the Euphrates River Valley and along the border with Iraq to the south,” the coalition’s Public Affairs Office said.

“A NEW MISSION”

“The base of the new force is essentially a realignment of approximately 15,000 members of the SDF to a new mission in the Border Security Force as their actions against ISIS draw to a close,” it said.

“They will be providing border security through professionally securing checkpoints and conducting counter-IED operations,” it said, adding that coalition and SDF forces were still engaging Islamic State pockets in Deir al-Zor province. (IED stands for improvised explosive device.)

The United States has about 2,000 troops in Syria fighting Islamic State and has said it is prepared to stay in the country until it is certain Islamic State is defeated, that stabilization efforts can be sustained and there is meaningful progress in U.N.-led peace talks on ending the conflict.

The Syrian government in Damascus has declared the United States an illegal occupation force and its SDF allies as “traitors”. A top Syrian Kurdish politician told Reuters last week that the United States appeared in no hurry to leave Syria.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mide ... me=newsOne
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Re: Importance of Afrin and why Turkey wants to attack it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:56 pm

Importance of Afrin and why the Turkish state wants to attack it

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) issued a call in order for the protection of Afrin against external attacks.

Turkey lies to the north and west of Afrin, to the east are Turkish-backed groups and to the south the Nusra Front (Hayat Tahrir al-Sham).

Oil and food prices in Afrin, whose economy relies on olives, olive oil and fruit, have rocketed in recent times because of the embargo from all sides.

Please click on image to enlarge:
886

Since 2014, Arabs have been taking their place in the legislative assembly, the Presidential Council of the assembly, and the Executive Council in the canton’s administration.

A small population of Arabs live in the centre of Afrin, with Alevi Kurds in Mabata, and Yazidi Kurds in Kastel Cindo and Ezaze.

Due to its relative stability, since 2013 Afrin has been a refuge for people who have fled ISIS from places like Raqqa, Manbij, al-Bab and Jarablus. The population of Afrin, which consists of seven neighbourhoods and 365 villages, has doubled from the original figure of 400,000.

After the defeat of ISIS in Kobani and Gire-Spi in 2016 the Turkish state saw that its position had worsened; especially after it sold out its own gangs to the Syrian regime and Russian forces. To seek to remedy this the Turkish state redirected its attention towards the Democratic Autonomous Administration.

The occupying Turkish army has control of some parts of the region of Shehba. The primary objective of the military deployment in the Azaz-Jarablus pocket is to surround Afrin by taking what is seen as the Kurdish corridor between the Menagh air base and Tell Rifaat.

The ambitions of this occupation are two-fold: first the sabotaging of the Raqqa operation, and second, the protection of ISIS. There is also a desire to hinder the development of the North Syria Federation, fight against the Democratic Autonomous Administration and to prevent the development of democratic projects in Syria.

Since Afrin liberated itself from the Baathist regime Turkey has wanted to destroy the city. In June, the Turkish army and the FSA groups it is backing fired mortars into the city and since the beginning of the Rojava Revolution the Turkish state has killed many civilians, injured thousands and burnt swathes of land belonging to the people.

The Turkish state confessed its plans

Significant victories are being won in the Raqqa operation, ISIS and its biggest sponsor the Turkish state is losing in Rojava and northern Syria. Erdogan is unable to digest this loss and is therefore trying to take revenge on the Kurds. The Turkish state is attacking Afrin because it is afraid of any sort of status for the Kurds.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Defence Minister Fehmi Isik have been declaring their plan to attack Afrin. To get these plans approved Erdogan has had phone conversations with US President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May. At the same time, the Turkish state is deploying its forces on the Turkey-Syria border and also in the occupied areas between Al-Bab and Azaz. They are firing mortars into Kurdish populated regions from the occupied lands in Syria on a daily basis.

The Turkish state is trying to gain support by discussing its plans for attack and occupation in the media and in daily meetings. For example, a top aide for the Turkish Prime Minister said on 3 July:

“We are constructing a military base on the most strategic hill in al-Bab. It is about to be completed. Therefore, we will be ensuring the security of al-Bab and the wider region with our own police and military forces. We are working to stabilise the region. However, my personal opinion is that in order to stabilise the region we need to rid the Afrin region of terrorists”.

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The aide also said that the foreign minister and the country’s intelligence organisation was conducting its work to this end and added: “Turkey’s plans for a secure area will be agreed upon in the Astana talks”.

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888

Turkey’s reasons for its aggression

The civilised world is in a significant battle against ISIS and an international coalition has been formed for this. However, many documents and reports say that Turkey is supporting ISIS and providing them with arms. Turkey is threatening the region, the Kurds and the world through ISIS. This is why it is not in the interests of Turkey for ISIS to be defeated. The most successful battle of the International Coalition against ISIS has been conducted in collaboration with the Kurds and the Syrian Democratic Forces of which Kurds constitute a majority.

So then, why is Turkey wanting to attack Afrin, a city that does not threaten Turkey and where there is not a single ISIS fighter?

This aggression has no legal or ethical basis. There is only one reason behind Turkish state aggression towards Afrin and that is its Kurdish phobia. The Turkish state does not want the Kurds and their project to be successful. Turkey wants chaos, instability and war. Turkey does not want ISIS to be defeated. Turkey wants to occupy. Turkey is laying the groundwork for a regional and international war. Turkey wants to be a dominant force in the region by supporting Salafist forces and acting with a Turkish nationalist expansionist mentality.

With this policy, Turkey is diametrically opposed to the peoples of the region and the international community’s objective of defeating ISIS. Turkey is sacrificing the will of the Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Keldanis, Armenians and Turkmen for its own expansionist objectives. Turkey’s policies are leading it commit war crimes.

Peoples of Rojava stand against Turkey’s occupation

Hundreds of Arabs walked against Turkish state occupation in the villages of Keferneya, Umhos, Kefernase, Tell Rifaat, Ehres, Vahsiye, Fafen and Hisarcik.

People from Keferneya village gathered in front of the village’s mosque and walked to the local primary school. The marchers, who were joined by the Shehba People’s Assembly and the Women’s Assembly, shouted “murderer Erdogan!”

“We are all one and against occupation”

We see the Turkish army’s presence on Syrian soil as an occupation. The presence of the Turkish army is also a threat to the democratic and peaceful future of Syria.

The Turkish state is playing a negative role in the region. They should leave and all national and democratic forces in Syria should call for the Turkish state to leave Syria and Rojava. The Turkish state presence in Al-Bab, Jarablus and Shehba is itself a reason for the prolonging of war in Syria.

In the press statement from the march Arabs from Shehba declared support for the SDF and opposition to the occupation of the Turkish state. “The SDF saved us from evil. We are against the occupation of the Turkish state. Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen are united”.

In the same statement, a message was sent to the people in Shehba living under Turkish occupation: “The Turkish state’s aim is occupation it is not ensuring security. Everyone should stand against the Turkish state’s occupation. The Turkish state’s aim is to capture our villages and towns. They will not recognise the will of our people while doing this.”

The Turkish army’s attacks have begun

The Turkish army and gangs attacked the liberated villages of Shehba and Afrin. The Turkish army and gangs attacked the villages of Mirenar, Filat, Qetma, Qestecindo in the region of Sera and fired mortars at Cilber and Iska villages of Serava. At the same time, they attacked the liberated villages of Erfad, Minix, Sex Isa, Biluniye.

During the attack, a woman named Sebah Isa and three other civilians were injured. The wounded were taken to hospital in Afrin.

The Turkish army has intensified its attacks against the villages of Yazi Bax and Keferato in the region of Shehba. Tens of mortars landed in the village at about 03.00 local time. Three people were killed as a result of the mortar fire and four people from the same family were severely injured.
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Re: Importance of Afrin and why Turkey wants to attack it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:07 pm

Importance of Afrin and why the Turkish state wants to attack it Part2

Those who lost their lives and were wounded:

Life lost: Xezala Yusiv (40), Muawiya El-Yusif (13), Tebarik El-Yusif (13).


Wounded: Xensa El-Yusif (18), Rinda El-Yusif (23), Fidaa El-Yusif (19) ve Aya El Yusif (16).

According to information from doctors the injuries are critical.

The Turkish army is emptying villages in Shehba, forcefully displacing Kurds

The Turkish state ethnically cleansing the regions between Jarablus, al-Bab and Azaz. It is emptying Kurdish villages and forcefully displacing the Kurds. They are also pushing out the Arabs of the region and redistributing the lands to their partners. The Turkish state is playing a very negative role in this region. They are playing with the demography of the region. This is a crime against humanity.

SHEHBA

Turkey occupied Jarablus on 24 August 2016. After that it turned its attention towards Rai, Azaz, Exterin, Soran and finaly al-Bab. When Turkey occupied these places, its primary target was the region of Shehba; the 217 Kurdish villages in the region. During the army’s occupation 50 of these villages were burnt and destroyed by soldiers and gangs, with property being looted. These villages are in between the region of al-Rai and Marea, and Marea and al-Bab. Some of the looted villages are: Rai, Dudyan, Gidris, Tel Sehir, Karagoz, Twis, Sava, Siverin, Beluniye, Tel Cican, Tel Circir, Qibbesin, Seyh Nasır, Hawar Kilis, Yazıbag, Sosinbat, Karakopru, and Karamezra.

The occupying Turkish army and their gangs are emptying the towns of Marea and Shehba for military purposes.

Two days ago the Turkish army threatened citizens in Kurdish villages in the Shehba region to empty their houses.

According to local sources the villages of Hezwan, Sosyan, Neman, Birc, Keibe, Kefer Kelbin, Til Malid, Tiltane, Eble, Tewihine, Tiwes, Sidud, Baroza, Iwen, Dana and Izreq were emptied after threats from the Turkish army.

Again according to local sources gangs affiliated to the Turkish state emptied the villages of Sex Isa and Til Midyeq in preparations for an assault against the liberated areas of the Shehba region.

The Turkish army is deploying forces to the towns of Azaz and Marea and the villages of Til Malid and Kilcibrin in preparation for an assault against the canton of Afrin.

Turkish attacks and the role of International forces

889

The defence forces of the Afrin region and YPG Commander Sipan Hemo evaluates the situation as follows:

“The Turkish state has been unsuccessful in its policies concerning Syria, the Middle East and Rojava Kurdistan. If Turkey attacks Afrin this would mean that Russia, Iran and Syria approve of this. This is not possible in any other way. Our people must know that an attack by the Turkish state of this sort can only be conducted with the approval of these states. Russia especially will have a significant role in this. Turkey entered Jarablus and al-Bab with permission from Russia and even the international coalition forces. This is an inter-state question. The Turkish state is making concessions, by making these it is trying to open itself a path. It is making a diplomatic effort towards this end and militarily it has brought together some groups.

The target of Turkey’s massacres is hampering the efforts against ISIS. However, our people’s path of self-defence will be implemented against anyone who intends to harm this strategy.

Unfortunately, some forces are continuing their support for Turkey. The silence of the international community against Turkey’s intentions is not in the interests of the Syrian nation. It is for this reason that the international community is responsible for the situation in Syria.

If our calls to the international community to take a stand against Turkey’s intentions do not materialise our people will have no choice but to resist.

Our people accept the joint borders within the framework of international law. However, Turkey’s attacks continue. Our people see resistance against these attacks as a national duty.”

‘They are fighting against Kurds not ISIS’

Uweyd Abu Seqir, a gang leader who was formerly operating under the command of the Turkish army, said that the Turkish army was forming military headquarters in al-Bab to form a new fighting force.

The commander who left the gangs under the command of the Turkish army five days ago said that Turkey’s intentions became clearer after the occupation of al-Bab: “The Turkish state wants to use us to occupy our own lands. We were receiving our orders from the Turkish army from the beginning. All our logistical needs were provided by the Turkish army. After the capture of al-Bab it became clear that the Turkish army’s intention was not to fight against ISIS but rather to reinvigorate the Ottoman period. There were meetings between the Turkish army and ISIS and then tens of villages were handed over to the army by ISIS. The clearest example of this was the occupation of Jarablus.”

A Kurdish-Arab conflict is being provoked through the media

Uweyd Abu Seqir said that the Turkish state was trying to provoke a Kurdish-Arab conflict in the region and that many media outlets were being used to this end.

Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) issued the following call and demands to the international community:

    - Afrin has been one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria over the past five years. With this in mind, the city has taken in as much as its original population in IDPs. The UN and the International Coalition must ensure the continuation of Afrin’s stability and security. Afrin must be protected against external attacks. 


    - Afrin is not a threat to Turkey and has not attacked anyone. The Turkish state is attacking Afrin because it is against the Kurds and Kurdish gains. This reality must not be neglected and the Turkish state’s attacks must be prevented. 


    - Russia, who is responsible for Afrin’s air space, must not be a spectator to Turkey’s attacks and must prevent any such show of aggression. 


    - The attacks of the Turkish state against Afrin, Rojava and north Syria as a whole is beneficial for ISIS. The International Coalition Against ISIS must take precautions against this and must prevent the Turkish army’s attacks. 


    - The Turkish state is an occupying force in Syria. The international community must not be a spectator to this situation and the Turkish army must be made to leave Syrian soil.
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Re: Importance of Afrin and why Turkey wants to attack it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:27 am

Huge Turkish Army convoy enters Syria to combat Kurdish forces in Afrin

The Turkish military has sent a large convoy of soldiers and armored vehicles into Syria via the Nusaybin Silk Road, Nusaybinden.com reported on Monday.

According to the Nusaybinden report, the Turkish military convoy made their way from Turkey’s Cizre District of Sirnak to the Afrin Canton in Aleppo, as their forces prepare to attack this Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria.

While the military convoy was passing through the Nusaybin-Silk road, the military forces took extensive security measures, while the long-range ball battalions in the convoy cautioned.

The Turkish military has repeatedly attacked the Afrin Canton in the recent days, often targeting the defenses of the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northwest Aleppo.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/hu ... ces-afrin/
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Re: Importance of Afrin and why Turkey wants to attack it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:31 am

Turkey’s President Assails U.S.-Trained Kurdish Border Force

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey lashed out against the creation of an American-trained force that may position thousands of Kurdish militia fighters along Turkey’s southern border. Pool photo

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey lashed out on Monday against a proposed American-trained force that would potentially position thousands of Kurdish militia fighters along Turkey’s southern border.

The allied military headquarters in Baghdad that is leading the fight against the Islamic State in Syria said Sunday that it had started recruiting and retraining members of a Syrian Kurdish and Arab militia to protect the borders of territory captured by the group. The militia, the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces or S.D.F., currently controls a large swath of northeastern Syria.

The Trump administration has said it would gradually scale back its military assistance to the Kurds as major combat winds down. The proposed border force appears to signal how the Pentagon would support its Kurdish proxies in the longer term in Syria.

Over several years, the new border force could grow to 30,000 members, the headquarters said in an email.

American commanders consider the Kurdish fighters the most capable of the S.D.F., and of any future border-security force, but Turkey views the Syrian Kurds as terrorists. The new plan threatens to escalate tensions between the United States and Turkey — two NATO allies — that were papered over during the offensive last year to seize Raqqa, which had been the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed capital in Syria.

“The U.S. has now acknowledged that it has established a terror army along our borders,” Mr. Erdogan said in a tweet on Monday. “Our duty, in return, is to nip this terror army in the bud.”

President Erdoğan: “The U.S. has now acknowledged that it has established a terror army along our borders. Our duty, in return, is to nip this terror army in the bud.”
— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) Jan. 15, 2018


The Turkish president’s comments came as he has been threatening to attack other Kurdish fighters in Afrin, an enclave in Idlib in northwest Syria near Turkey’s border. The area is Kurdish-held but not contiguous with the Kurds’ main territory in northeast Syria. Heavy Turkish artillery shelling has targeted Kurdish positions in Afrin in recent days.

American forces accompanied by Kurdish fighters in Syria near the Turkish border in April. Delil Souleiman/Agence France-
All this is unfolding as the Syrian military, backed by Russia, is intensifying its assault on Idlib, the last remaining redoubt of rebels opposed to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Many people have migrated there from other surrendering rebel areas around Syria.

The proposed border security force adds a new dimension to this highly combustible mixture, and drew sharp criticism from the Turkish government.

“Turkey, as a member of the coalition, was not consulted with regard to the establishment of the so-called ‘Syrian Border Security Force,’” according to a statement issued on Sunday from the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The statement added that such a force would hamper efforts to wipe out the last remaining pockets of Islamic State fighters along the Euphrates River Valley near the border of Iraq and Syria, as well as in the deserts of western Iraq and eastern Syria.

The American military command in Baghdad, which oversees allied operations in eastern Syria against the Islamic State, sought to portray the new border force as no big deal.

It said the new force would essentially repurpose as many as 15,000 of the more than 40,000 members of the S.D.F. to prevent the resurgence of the Islamic State. About 230 militia in the first class of recruits are currently undergoing training.

“These individuals will bring much-needed experience and discipline to the force,” the American military command said in the email, adding that recruiting is underway to fill an additional 15,000 positions, for an eventual total of 30,000 members.

The American command said the force would be drawn from “a force reflecting the populations they serve, both in gender and ethnicity” — an effort to deflect Turkish criticism that the border patrol would be dominated by Kurdish militia.

The new border force will be stationed along the borders of areas now controlled by the S.D.F., including “portions of the Euphrates River valley and international borders to the east and north of S.D.F.-liberated territory” — meaning Iraq and Turkey, the command said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/us/p ... order.html
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Re: Importance of Afrin and why Turkey wants to attack it

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:35 am

Turkey Threatens Military Action Against Syrian Kurds Allied With US

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is warning of an imminent attack on a U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia.

"We have finished our preparations. The operation can start any time," Erdogan declared to supporters at a rally Monday.

Turkish forces are massed along the border with Syria's Idlib enclave, which is controlled by the YPG, a Kurdish militia Ankara accuses of being linked to an insurgency in Turkey.

Erdogan has repeatedly warned the YPG presence in Idlib would be ended. As the Turkish military continues to build up its forces in the region, its artillery bombarded the enclave during the weekend. There also reports reports of special forces carrying out cross-border operations against YPG targets.

The latest escalation in tensions was triggered by Washington's announcement it is working with the YPG to create a border force.

"America has acknowledged it is in the process of creating a terror army on our border," Erdogan said Monday, "What we have to do is nip this terror army in the bud."

Washington views the YPG as a key ally in Syria in the war against the Islamic State and has armed the group despite Ankara's objections. The dispute has severely strained relations between the NATO allies.

Turkey at odds with Russia

But the YPG is also supported by Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a carefully-worded warning to Ankara over its latest threats.

"As for the situation in Afrin [enclave] and Syria overall ... We are seeking full compliance with the cease-fire agreements," he said during news conference Monday.

Russia and Turkey, along with Iran, have been working together in Syria in what has been dubbed the "Astana process."

Lavrov reserved his strongest criticism for Washington, attacking its decision to create a border force with the YPG.

"The U.S. unilateral, ultimatum-like project, aimed at establishing an army in Syria, may create problems in relations between Turkey and [the] Kurds," the minister said.

Moscow has been seeking to exploit Ankara's growing dispute with Washington as Turkey deepens its ties with Russia. But the balancing act could face its greatest test over Ankara's threat to attack Afrin with Russian military units in the enclave. The units were deployed last year to de-escalate tensions between the militia and Turkish forces.

Military limits

Meanwhile, analysts warn the Turkish army could be overstretched. "The Turkish army is in Iraq. in Syria it is in two different places, said Haldun Solmazturk, a former brigadier and veteran of cross-border operations who now heads the Ankara based 21st century Turkey Institute.

"It is like a bomb," he added. "The Turkish army is sitting on a bomb."

Any operation in Idlib could be further complicated. The Turkish air force would need Moscow's permission to enter Syrian airspace due to the presence of Russian anti-aircraft missiles.

Moscow allowed Ankara to carry out limited airstrikes last year when its forces entered Syria to remove IS militants on its border. But doubt remains whether Russia would be accommodating again.

"Americans will never abandon Syrian Kurds, nor will Russia, which is supportive of the Syrian Kurds within a certain status, no doubt," claimed analyst Solmazturk. "They are simply too important in the region to both sides. The YPG control around one-fifth of Syrian territory."

Moscow, much to Ankara's discomfort, has been pushing for the presence of the militia or its political wing, the YPD, in an ongoing peace process to resolve the Syrian civil war.

"When we see Syria we notice that there are differences of opinion, which carry the seeds of problems," said political columnist Semih Idiz of Al Monitor website. "Turkey is not all that easy [about] the way Russia is trying steer the Syrian situation."

Ankara fears marginalization

Last week, Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to protest Moscow's failure to reign in Damascus' ongoing military operation against rebels forces in Idlib. Analysts warn there is a growing concern in Ankara it could be marginalized by Washington and Moscow.

"Ankara seems to have no role anymore in the remaining episodes in this drama of Syria, so squeezed out is the right way to put it," claimed former Senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen who served widely in region.

Analysts suggest Ankara's latest threat against the Syrian Kurdish militia in Afrin could be a move to remind the United States and Russia it remains a powerful player, given its large army and long border with Syria.

Such a robust stance also plays well domestically. Columnist Idiz said Erdogan has a receptive audience at home, but his stance "may backfire because Turkey, more or less, has angered [the United States] on a whole number of levels."

https://www.voanews.com/a/turkey-threat ... 08716.html
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