Published: Tue, January 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey's Syria offensive

UN Security Council lenient to Turkey's Syria offensive

The U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces also said they were considering sending forces to assist the YPG in fighting off Turkish and FSA forces.

Earlier Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to "sort out" Afrin. 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.

Experts say the border force is seen as a way for the U.S.to keep the Islamic State from coming back and also be a check against the Iranian and Russian presence in Syria.

The UK and the US have described Ankara's concerns over the security of its borders as legitimate, while France has come up with an initiative of convening an urgent US Security Council meeting.

She also stressed that Turkey has warned the USA not to use a terror organization in the fight against Daesh.

"We can not tolerate the PKK establishing some kind of a state structure along our border in Syria", warned presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.

On 21 January Turkey launched a military operation codenamed "Olive Branch" and advanced 8 kilometers into neighboring Syria (Afrin Province).

Turkey's official news agency says dozens have been detained across Turkey for alleged terror propaganda on social media regarding a military offensive into a Kurdish-held enclave in northern Syria. "Operation in 'afrīn also over, when they achieved the set objectives", - said Erdogan, having promised to establish control over the Afrin. "This is a tough situation where there are a lot of civilians mixed in", the top USA diplomat said.

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But Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek who oversees economic affairs said: "Our investors should be at ease, the impact will be limited, the operation will be brief and it will reduce the terror risk to Turkey in the period ahead".

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead, who included five children, were killed in air strikes on the village of Jalbara.

In effect, the U.S. was underwriting the existence of a small, permanent Kurdish state under USA protection and controlled by people whom Mr Erdogan had denounced as "terrorists" and promised to destroy. "Afrin is trained to endure", Walat told Reuters. For example, he said the USA has bolstered its military presence in nearby Romania, so "all our eggs are not in one basket anymore".

"Turkish relationship and Turkey's relationship with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", said Steven Cook, a senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank.

The SOHR said on Monday that 54 combatants had been killed since Saturday, including 26 Kurdish fighters and 19 pro-Turkish rebels.

But for now the western allies are not calling on Turkey to end the operation.

The battles had actually begun the night before but only with shells from Turkey against Kurdish forces under U.S. command.

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