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Turkey rejects military operation limited to Syria's Afrin

23 January 2018

Turkish airstrikes have killed dozens of civilians, and Kurdish fighters since Ankara launched its "Operation Olive Branch".

It looks like the Americans do not want to give Iranians access to the Mediterranean from Tehran and prevent Turkey from having connections with Iraq and Syria.

Speaking of Russian Federation, it is noteworthy that Moscow has withdrawn its military personnel from Afrin right before the start of the Turkish operation; an implicit message that Russian Federation was accepting Turkey's right to intervene.

The operation, with Turkish war planes and artillery backing a major ground incursion involving Ankara-backed Syrian rebels and Turkish tanks, aims to oust the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia from its Afrin enclave. These Kurdish parts of Syria are now run by the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). "This is why we have called for a Security Council meeting to evaluate all the humanitarian risks, which are very serious", said Drian.

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According to a tweet by AFP, the 54 Syrian Kurd and pro-Turkey fighters were reportedly killed in the ongoing battle that has claimed several lives in the region on Monday, January 22, 2018.

The UN will meet on Monday to discuss the situation.

Opening a almost weeklong trip to Europe on Monday amid a government shutdown back home, Tillerson went to the embassy to greet the USA ambassador to Britain.

Mr Tillerson said on Monday in London that the U.S. recognised Turkey's "legitimate concerns" for its security, and its right to defend itself from terrorist elements.

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Given Washington's record, it is not especially surprising that both the Obama and Trump administrations have maintained close ties with Turkey, even as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has systematically dismantled his country's secular, democratic institutions.

"I'm extremely anxious and will discuss this among other things with our Turkish interlocutors", Mogherini said after a regular meeting of European Union foreign ministers where the issue was raised, adding that she was concerned about the impact on civilians and on the UN-backed Syrian peace process.

Iran has bolstered Assad's regime in #Syria, providing troops and other assistance, while gaining control of large swatches of Syrian territory. No matter what, once Turkey succeeds in destroying terrorist safe havens in Afrin and prevents the emergence of new autonomous regions at its border, the worldwide community will be able to impose new cease-fire zones.

The YPG's Afrin spokesman, Birusk Hasaka, said there were clashes between Kurdish and Turkey-backed forces on the third day of the operation.

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Until the Turkish assault, Afrin mostly remained intact from the ravaging effects of the civil war raging in Syria and proved to be a haven for civilians displaced by the conflict between the Damascus government and Islamist-led armed opposition groups.

Turkey rejects military operation limited to Syria's Afrin