Turkey Launches Offensive in Syria’s Afrin

The Turkish Army bombards the SDF using heavy artillery in the northern Aleppo countryside. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The Turkish Army bombards the SDF using heavy artillery in the northern Aleppo countryside. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Turkey has launched an air and ground offensive against the Kurdish-controlled territory of Syria’s northern town Afrin.

Turkish fighter jets have begun to carry out air raids targeting the position of YPG and PYD, the Kurdish groups of Syria.

Turkey regards these Kurdish groups as terrorists. The Turkish officials have been on high-pitch rhetoric about launching an all-out raid against the Kurdish fighters in Afrin.

Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu said the heavy bombardment began on Saturday after thousands of Turkish trained Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters began to move in Afrin.

President Erdogan said on Saturday that the operation in Afrin will be followed by an operation in Manbij. The U.S. backed Kurdish fighters captured the town from the terrorist group ISIS in 2016.

Turkey denounces the Syrian Kurdish groups as terrorists on their alleged ties with the Turkish insurgent group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Turkish offensive in Afrin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Turkish offensive in Afrin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Kurdish forces are all the same and the difference in names cannot change “the fact that they are terror organizations.”

It has been estimated that there are around ten thousand Kurdish fighters in the Afrin area of Syria.

Meanwhile, Syria threatened to destroy any Turkish warplanes that fly into Syrian territory in the wake of Turkish move into their sovereignty.

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Kurdish forces are all the same and the difference in names cannot change “the fact that they are terror organizations.”

Syrian threat came after Ankara’s preparation to launch a cross-border military operation. The Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said, “We warn that the Syrian Air Force is ready to destroy Turkish air targets in the skies of Syria.”

The Turkish officials including the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu have repeatedly vowed to launch an offensive against the Syrian-Kurd militia YPG and PYD.

Protesting the Turkish preparation to launch an offensive against Afrin based Kurdish militia, Mekdad said, “We warn the Turkish leaders that if they start fighting in the region of Afrin, it will be seen as an aggression by the Turkish army against the sovereignty of Syria.” He warned that Turkish invasion of Afrin would be ‘no picnic’ for Turkey.


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