Turkey vows imminent assault on Kurdish enclave in Syria

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

He stressed that any venture in the region "has no chance of success" if Turkey has no consent in it, referring to the YPG's effort to settle in Syria's northern regions along the Turkish border.

This makes nearly certain that the USA designated terror group PKK's Syrian armed YPG militia will be deployed to the Turkish-Syrian border, a move that will further increase tensions in the area as well as with Washington.

The Turkish forces targeted early Sunday locations of the Democratic Union Party or PYD, and Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), in Afrin area, located in the countryside of Aleppo Governorate.

Speaking at the provincial congress meetings of his ruling Justice and Development (AKP) in the eastern province of Elazıg on Saturday, Erdogan said "If the terrorists in Afrin do not surrender, we will destroy them". Turkish troops are stationed in rebel-held territory on both sides of Afrin.

Rojhat Roj, the YPG spokesman in Afrin, told Reuters the shelling was carried out by Turkish forces in Dar Taizaah and Qalat Seman - areas where he said Turkish forces had deployed as part of an agreement with Russian Federation and Iran.

About half of the force will be SDF veterans, and recruiting for the other half is underway, the coalition's public affairs office said.

A curious part of the statement is that the Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve, would deploy some of the border force along the Euphrates River Valley, a natural border with the Assad regime forces and the Russians.

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Syria's main Kurdish groups have emerged as some of the few winners of the Syrian war, and are working to entrench their autonomy over swathes of northern Syria.

The coalition said the Border Security Force would operate under SDF command and that around 230 individuals were now undergoing training in its inaugural class. "Therefore, the ethnic composition of the force will be relative to the areas in which they serve", it said.

"The base of the new force is essentially a realignment of approximately 15,000 members of the SDF to a new mission in the Border Security Force as their actions against ISIS draw to a close".

"We expect from our allies that they behave in accordance with the spirit of our deep-rooted relationship during this process", Erdogan said, adding "despite everything" he hoped for cooperation to achieve "common interests" in the region.

IED stands for improvised explosive device.

Following a fragile cease-fire, the group resumed fighting in July 2015. A senior Syrian Kurdish politician said last week that the United States appeared in no hurry to leave Syria. "We know this. This is not what allies do", Erdogan said.

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