Syrian ambassador slams Turkey's operation in Afrin as 'blatant violation of sovereignty'

Violet Powell
February 22, 2018

Another soldier was wounded after a handmade bomb was detonated by the "separatist terrorist organisation" - Turkey's official term for the the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - in the province of Hakkari, the military said in a statement.

On Monday, Erdogan talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over Turkey's ongoing operation, the fight against terrorist elements and the latest developments in Syria, particulary Afrin and Idlib.

Amid a complicated military situation in northern Syrian areas, where Turkish and USA forces are present, Ankara stated forward that its army fights against the Kurdish militias Popular Protection Units (YPG) to secure its borders with Syria.

Turkey had threatened to confront government forces if they intervened, raising the prospect of direct conflict between two of the main players in Syria's civil war.

Ankara on January 20 launched a cross-border air and ground operation in northern Syria supporting Syrian rebels against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia.

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Syrian militia units had already begun to withdraw from Afrin after a bombardment by Turkish artillery.

Turkey's Anadolu agency reported that the withdrawal of the pro- Assad terror groups came when they were about 10 km away from Afrin.

Following negotiations, the Syrian government * a href="*/stories/195501" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener" *agreed forces loyal to it would enter Afrin to support local Kurdish fighters and protect Syrian sovereignty.

He added that the militias were forced to go back after artillery shooting.

The UN says more than 300,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Idlib since December, while nearly 200 civilians are reported to have been killed in government air and artillery strikes on the Eastern Ghouta since Monday.

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