Almost 400 Kurdish, Daesh Fighters Killed in Afrin Op - Turkish General Staff

Almost 400 Kurdish, Daesh Fighters Killed in Afrin Op - Turkish General Staff

On the seventh day of the operation against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia, Erdogan vowed to "clean up" the Syrian city of Manbij.

On Jan. 20, the Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Free Syrian Army, launched the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria. After their participation in the Geneva talks became complicated, Russian officials announced before the Olive Branch Operation that the Kurds will be part of the Syrian national dialogue congress scheduled for Sochi next week.

"We will rid Manbij of terrorists, as it was promised to us, and our battles will continue until no terrorist is left until our border with Iraq", Mr Erdogan said yesterday.

Washington has angered Ankara by providing arms, training and air support to the Syrian Kurdish forces.

With the support of the US-led coalition's air power and special forces, the SDF led the battle previous year against IS during which the jihadists lost their de facto capital of Raqa.

"There was a loss of trust with the United States during this period".

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More alarming to the USA military is the concern that Erdogan has made clear he has no interest in keeping his military in Afrin.

We, the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists oppose the various military attacks on Afrin, Idlib and Eastern Ghouta and support all the innocent civilians in Syria.

Last week, Turkish troops entered Afrin area, which is controlled by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) extension PYD.

"How can a strategic partner do this to its partner?"

"We will take no step back".

The Turkish operation appears limited exclusively against Kurdish militias that control the city and its countryside.

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The United States is helping Turkey with its active insurgency, she said.

"And Turkey, as all countries, has the right to self-defense", he said. Three Turkish soldiers and 11 Syrian opposition fighters allied with them were killed in fighting since January 20, he said.

Washington has the YPG to fight the Islamic State (IS) group on the ground and does not plan to get rid of them at a time when the jihadists are in military decline. In addition, 134 civilians had been wounded and at least 66 killed, it said.

Turkish artillery fire pounded the Afrin region, state-run news agency Anadolu said.

Tensions between Ankara and Washington are already high but the offensive added further strain to their relationship. "They are a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, and they have legitimate security concerns, so we're going to continue to engage with them". In reality, the operation will serve to consolidate Turkish military presence in northern Syria ahead of forming a "safe zone" 30 kilometers into Syrian territory.

At the Pentagon, a spokesperson said the US has not seen any indication that Turkish forces are moving toward Manbij on Thursday.

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Kurdish efforts to establish their own sovereign administration within Syria's borders have long alarmed officials in Damascus as much as in Ankara.

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