by Stephen Lendman
YPG official Brusk Haseke confirmed it, saying:
“Today the Syrian government army entered Afrin in order to defend the city from the Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army jointly with the Kurdish forces of the YPG.”
“The government forces have come to help the people of Afrin. We cannot report on the number of soldiers that entered Afrin. This is military information.”
Syrian television showed a convoy of government forces entering the area, wearing camouflage fatigues.
Ahead of Syrian forces entering Afrin, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said laying siege to the city and partitioning the country would follow their entry into the region, upping the stakes more than already.
According to AMN news, Turkey’s military shelled Syrian forces near Afrin. They approached the city heavily armed with missiles, anti-aircraft guns and other heavy weapons.
Erdogan said preparations are underway to lay siege to the city, adding Kurdish YPG fighters “will have no room for bargaining with” Damascus.
Reportedly Turkish warplanes are terror-bombing the area. They risk being downed by Syria’s air defense systems.
According to Russian special envoy to Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov, Moscow will help resolve conflict in Afrin if requested by all parties “to stop bloodshed and find common denominators,” adding:
Most important is adherence to “Security Council Resolution 2254 and respect for territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of Syria.”
The Syrian Arab News Agency said “(p)opular forces arrived in Afrin area to support the locals against the aggression waged by the Turkish regime on the city since January 20, and to confront” ISIS terrorists.
Turkey’s military reported killing or capturing over 1,700 Kurdish fighters after a month of its so-called Olive Branch operation.
If true, it’s why YPG leadership sought Syrian help. Alone, they’re no match against superior Turkish forces.
Sergey Lavrov questioned US actions toward Kurds, saying “(t)his game had been raising questions multiple times, and it looked like a deliberate provocation that overgrew in the current situation in Afrin.”
What’s ongoing is a developing story. Updates will follow when more information is available.
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14 March 2018
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