European Union top diplomat 'worried' over Turkish operation in Syria

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It considers the YPG to be a "terrorist" group, as well as the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state.

Turkey meanwhile invaded Syria and is establishing bases there, specifically in Idlib province (which puts them in close proximity to our important Armenian community in Haleb/Aleppo)- Ankara announced last fall it would build eight of them. However, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance says it supports Turkey's right to "self-defence".

The Syrian Kurdish militia - known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG -called Moscow "Turkey's bloody accomplice in the killing of civilians in the region". "It was a threat made against us", Levent told AP through Husseyin, who acted as an interpreter.

The US has opposed Turkish attacks on the Syrian Kurds for years, and in recent days suggested Turkey should hold off on such operations, instead focusing on ISIS.

"One side is the humanitarian one - we need to make sure that humanitarian access is guaranteed and that civilian population and people are not suffering from military activities on the ground", she said.

"An operation by Turkey against Afrin, without there being an attack from there, will lead the country towards civil war if it is successful and will lay the groundwork for a coup if it is unsuccessful", he said on Twitter on January 13.

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

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




And while US officials remain vague about the level of support, frankly anything that makes the Assad government, Russian Federation and Turkey nervous all at the same time can't be all bad.

The Syrian government, its ally Iran and Egypt have all condemned Turkey's offensive.

Mr Delattre would not say if Turkey ought to stop the operation altogether.

Washington, which has backed the YPG in the battle against Islamic State in Syria, said on Sunday it was concerned about the situation.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.

"Erdoğan said he would next move on Kurdish-controlled Manbij in an operation called "Olive Branch" that would force the Kurdish militia from all positions west of the Euphrates River", the Guardian reported.

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

It's not clear exactly how this posture on Syria evolved and who had leading roles constructing it.

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