Russian Federation accuses USA of stoking Syrian-Kurdish separatist ambitions

23 January, 2018, 02:18 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • Russian Federation accuses USA of stoking Syrian-Kurdish separatist ambitions

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organisation and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decades-old insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

Media captionWhy is Turkey attacking Syria?

Members of Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by the Turkish army, are confronting US-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the People's Defence Units or YPG.

Tillerson said Turkey is anxious about "terrorists crossing the border into Turkey and carrying out attacks and we appreciate their right to defend themselves, but this is a tough situation where there are a lot of civilians mixed in". The group's close affiliation with their ethnic kin across the border in Turkey and the Kurdish pro-independence movement in neighbouring Iraq has put the Syrian Kurds on a collision course with Ankara.

The US is willing to work with Turkey to address its "legitimate" security concerns in northern Syria, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said.

"One side is the humanitarian one - we need to make sure that humanitarian access is guaranteed and that civilian population and people are not suffering from military activities on the ground", she said. The Turkish-Russian-Iranian coordination has benefited them and served them better through the de-escalation zones while the United States has lost and this has been realized later on, prompting the American government to keep up with the status quo in Syria to turn the military balance.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.

"They have proven their effectiveness", Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters Sunday en route to Southeast Asia.

While Washington wants to preserve its relationship with Turkey.it also has ties to Kurdish and other forces forces targeted by Turkey.

While Washington and other Western capitals expressed concern, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he had secured a go-ahead for the campaign from Russian Federation, principal backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, long Turkey's foe.

"It does look like Erdogan is determined to go all the way". Maybe because of the operation, Damascus will try to get closer to the YPG and even the USA, but such a rapprochement will probably disturb Iran too much.

Activists say about 10,000 allied Syrian opposition fighters have been mobilised by Turkey to take part in the offensive.

Afrin would be a "quagmire from which the Turkish army will only exit after suffering great losses", said a statement from the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces umbrella group.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also expressed concern, calling his Turkish counterpart to express concerns about the possible effect on civilians.

Dictator Bashar al-Assad, technically the head of government for the territory being invaded, has also decried the "brutal Turkish aggression" against the Kurds.

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