Syrian Gov't: US Military Presence In Syria Is Act Of Aggression

Reuters

Reuters

The state-run Anadolu news agency reported on January 18 that Turkish security forces were preparing for intervention in Syria's Kurdish-held regions of Afrin and Manbij.

Earlier this week, the Turkish government announced the offensive into Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria, starting with Afrin, after reports that the U.S. plans to create a 30,000-strong border army predominantly made up of Kurdish militias.

He warned USA troops against coming between Turkish troops and the Kurdish forces in Syria that Ankara views as an extension of Turkey's own Kurdish insurgency.

Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Damascus, Jan 19 (Prensa Latina) The U.S. government's decision to train 30,000 soldiers in northern Syria, on the border with Turkey, has raised strong reactions this week in this Middle East region, especially in Damascus and Ankara.

Turkey's operation "has everything to do with domestic politics", said Ahmet Han, associate professor in International Relations at Kadir Has University in Istanbul.

Canikli said Turkey was determined to carry out an offensive in Afrin, adding that operation had "de facto" begun, in reference to Turkish artillery attacks that have been taking place against suspected YPG targets.

A senior Turkish official said the training of the new border force was the reason the USA top diplomat stationed in the country was summoned to Ankara last week, Reuters reported.

Turkey's private Dogan news agency quotes Turkey-backed Syrian rebels as saying they are awaiting Turkish orders to launch the Afrin operations.

Turkey's National Security Council also met Wednesday and vowed to take steps to "eliminate" threats from western Syria - in an apparent reference to Afrin.

Iran has been Syria's closest ally in the country's almost seven-year civil war against Sunni rebel forces.

The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the USA and the EU.

The threat follows the massing of Turkish troops on the Syrian border and official threats to strike Syria's Kurdish militia the YPG. The PKK is an armed organization in southeastern Turkey fighting for autonomy and recognition of the Kurdish people.

According to media reports, Washington is working to establish the border security force with the involvement of Kurdish militias.

"We would call. on the Turks to not take any actions of that sort", the state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing this week.

Furthermore, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said relations between Turkey and the USA would be "irreversibly harmed" if Washington forms the force in question, after meeting Tillerson in Vancouver on Tuesday on the sidelines of a gathering to discuss sanctions against North Korea. "We hope this mistake will be corrected in the shortest time", Akar said.

Without Russian support, Turkey's intervention into Afrin would be fraught with risk, Turkish analysts said.

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