Syria opposes presence of Turkish and US forces violating its sovereignty
The ongoing war between Turkish army and US backed Kurdish militia has remained mostly unreported due to direct face-off between two NATO partners. Ankara has claimed on Friday that it has lost 41 of its soldiers in Syria’s northwestern region of Afrin.
According to Press TV report from Istanbul, Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli made the announcement while speaking at National Defense University on Friday. He further said that 95 villages had come under their control during the so-called Operation Olive Branch. That means Turkish forces have cleared Kurdish militia from these areas.
Canikli further said that 116 members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) militant group have joined Turkish troops in their campaign against members of the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG). They are considered to be allies of Turkish Kurd separatists belonging to PKK.
Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency quoted Canikli as saying that 2,295 militants of Kurdish factions and Daesh terrorists had been “neutralized” in the offensive. Then operation was launched on January 19.
The Turkish government has said the recent UNSC resolution on a month-long ceasefire in Syria will have no effect on its cross-border operations. The resolution called for ceasefire in parts of Syria, especially in Eastern Ghouta.
Turkey believes that YPG as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), demanding a separate homeland for Kurds in Turkey.
US administration has been insisting to remain in Syrian territory and continue their support to the separatist Kurds. Ties between Ankara and Washington have been affected in the recent past because of the ongoing fighting in Afrin.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch, its second military intervention in Syia since 2011, after Washington said it would set up a border force comprising 30,000 Kurdish militants near Turkish soil. Turkey believes that US was building this force from the separatist Kurd militia.
Syria has critical of both Turkey and US for their military activities on its soil in violation of its sovereignty.