Turkish Armed Forces near Afrin district's center

Marie Harrington
March 10, 2018

"We have reached to consensus with the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on the issue to carry out the offensive together", Cavusoglu said during his visit to Austria.

"We hope that the USA will give up supporting terrorist organizations". Ankara considers the YPG to be a Syrian extension of the PKK. "And the next day we will ensure that terrorists are cleared east of the Euphrates River up to the Iraqi border", he said. Kurds in Syria and Iraq have been attacked by Turkish forces on several occasions in recent years, including the ongoing cross-border operation in Afrin.

The PKK presence in Iraq, while predating the PKK-Turkey ceasefire, greatly grew during that period, with the deal that PKK forces in Turkey would withdraw to Iraq, pending talks.

Cavusoglu said Turkey's offensive into northern Syria's Afrin region against the Syrian Kurdish militia, will also be completed by May.

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Turkey sees the YPG as a terror group for its ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the USA and the European Union.

Through violent military actions, the Turkish army violates the recent resolution 2401 of the United Nations Security Council, which establishes a ceasefire in Syrian territory, according to the Damascus authorities.

"At least 140,000-150,000, maybe 200,000 people will return to Afrin [following Operation Olive Branch]", he added.

In his speech on March 9, Erdoğan also stated that 3,171 YPG militants have been "neutralized" since the beginning of "Operation Olive Branch" on January 20.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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