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The United States needs to end its support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia if it wants to work together with Turkey in Syria, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday. The statement falls short of an outright condemnation and shows the complex nature of Syria's civil war.
Germany has expressed concerns over civilians caught up in the fighting but Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed there'll be no let up until the operation is complete.
But surely using the language of creating a border security force was always going to alarm Turkey.
But said there was now an open-ended commitment by the to remain in parts of to contain Islamic State, and the 's best allies in that fight have been Syrian Kurds who have resisted the control of President 's government. Since the USA has begun its military action in Syria to counter ISIS, which controlled a large area in Syria and Iraq in 2014, Washington has not reached a decisive decision what would the status of Syria be after the end of war.
But a quick survey of the current challenges in Syria indicates that, even with a USA -led coalition maintaining an on the ground presence in Syria, the path ahead is full of pitfalls. "This is a tough situation where there are a lot of civilians mixed in", the top U.S. diplomat said.
The U.S.is discussing with Turkey and others the possibility of setting up a security zone on the Syria border to address Turkey's concerns about a Kurdish enclave there, Tillerson said while traveling in Europe on Monday.
But Erdogan said Turkey was determined to press ahead. The Observatory said Turkey-backed troops were trying once again to enter Afrin. Their role as essential US allies against the Islamic State has not mollified the Turks, who continue to view the Kurdish YPG as nothing more than re-branded PKK terrorists.
Speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting, Bozdag also said nobody had the right to impose limits on its operation against a USA -backed Kurdish militia in Syria's Afrin region. However, Turkey accuses the YPG of having links with the Kurdistan Workers Party, which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish government on and off for almost four decades.
Turkey has been battling Kurdish unrest in the southeast of the country for years, and views the Syrian Kurds as indistinguishable. But Russia does not appear to be acting to prevent it, and has pulled its own troops out of the Afrin area. The latest win at Abu al-Duhur came after more than 100 villages and towns were secured in the mostly insurgent-held region, giving Assad more leverage as his Russian and Iranian allies sought to negotiate a political solution to the conflict.
The United Nations has said it is deeply concerned for the more than 300,000 people in Afrin. He repeated his criticism of Washington's support for the Kurdish militia, saying the USA should have partnered with Turkey in fighting IS.
If only! But until then, the news that the U.S.is indeed supporting a fearless Kurdish force in its ongoing fight against terror is an encouraging development.
But Aldar Khalil, co-leader of a Movement for a Democratic Society, told Reuters the likelihood that Kurdish officials would not go to Sochi was now greater than the likelihood of them attending the meeting.
In response, a rocketed fired from Afrin hit a Turkish camp where the Free Syrian Army, backed by Ankara, sustained 12 losses, the Dogan news agency reported.
The Turkish offensive has set nerves on edge across the region.
The military also said, "utmost importance" was being given to not harm civilians. In a statement, the Kurdish fighters said Afrin will be a "quagmire" for the Turkish army.
"This is a historic moment in our revolution", Mohammad al-Hamadeen, a senior officer in the FSA forces, told fighters in Azaz on Sunday as they prepared to join the ground offensive. This also means that despite the US's history of supporting and arming the very groups Turkey is now waging War against, at least under the leadership of Donald Trump, the US Government may actually be more supportive of Turkeys actions this weekend than perhaps they are letting on.
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