Turkey Denies Reports Syria Will Help YPG In Afrin

Turkish Iranian leaders discuss Syria on phone

Although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and the YPG have mostly avoided direct conflict during the war, there have been occasional armed clashes and they espouse utterly different visions for Syria's future.

Syria's state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) announced Monday "that popular forces [the Syrian military] are to arrive in the Afrin area soon to support locals in facing the aggression launched by the Turkish regime on the area since January 20th".

Earlier in the day, Turkey's Foreign Minister sounded determined to go on with the attempted invasion of Afrin, stating that if the Syrian army were to move into the region to protect the YPG, it wouldn't be able to stop the Turkish army.

Any agreement between the Kurds and the Syrian government further complicates the multi-sided conflict in northern Syria involving Kurdish forces, the Syrian government, rebel factions, Turkey, the United States, Iran and Russian Federation.

Birusk Hasaka, a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin, told Reuters that a Turkish bombardment hit a village in the northwest of the region, near the Turkish border. Footage of Turkish military forces collaborating with Islamic extremist militant groups has come across social media on several occasions and not long ago the body of a female YPG fighter was desecrated by Turkish proxies, the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

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Cavusoglu dismissed the reports as propaganda by organisations close to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil. But over the past two years, Ankara has focused on thwarting Syrian Kurdish gains and cooperated with Tehran and Moscow to try to end a civil war now in its seventh year. However, the United States has supported the YPG as its ally in combating Islamic State in Syria.

However, sources speaking to the privately-owned CNN Turk TV said Erdogan threatened the Syrian regime if its army enters Afrin.

The operation that is being conducted in the Afrin region has been going on for some time now, and as up till now, 1641 terrorists have been taken-out. The Turkish officials detailed the call on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, and did not mention an agreement for government troops to enter Afrin.

After US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Ankara last week, the two sides agreed to work together in Syria and set up working groups to address issues including Manbij where there are US military forces, which Tillerson said was a "priority".

The Observatory said airstrikes and shelling killed 44 people.

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