Sunday, 22 April, 2018


Turkey warned over military offensive in Syria´s Afrin

A young boy waits at a check point near Afrin A young boy waits at a check point near Afrin Credit BULENT KILIC AFP Getty Images
Bennie Garza | 19 March, 2018, 21:29

"We can suddenly come over one night in Iraq's Sinjar and eliminate PKK terrorists there", the president said.

The EU's foreign policy chief criticised Turkey's military offensive in northern Syria on Monday.

Indicating there was no plan for the Turkish army to call off offensive, Erdogan described the taking of Afrin as merely a "comma" and also warned Turkey could launch a surprise attack on Kurdish rebel strongholds in Iraq.

Speaking at the Bestepe Culture and Congress Center in the presidential complex in capital Ankara, the president said: "The military operation will go on until the terror corridor through Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tell Abyad, Ras al-Ayn, Qamishli has been wiped out".

Erdogan said the Turkish flag and the flag of the Syrian opposition fighters were raised in the city, previously controlled by the YPG.

She is believed to be the first British woman to die fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria.

Ms Mogherini told reporters in Brussels that worldwide efforts in Syria are supposed to be "aiming at de-escalating the military activities and not escalating them".

"It seems a small thing, but I remember when she was 11, she protected a bumblebee from being tormented by other kids at school", her father recalled, according to the Guardian.

Ms Mogherini urged Turkey, Russia and Iran to guarantee that conflict "de-escalation zones" were established as promised, to "guarantee that is what happens on the ground". However, Ankara has said that its next target would be a Syrian region further east where United States forces are stationed alongside the YPG - Washington's ally against ISIL in the country.

Erdogan insisted Turkey had no intention of "occupying" Syria, saying it was merely clearing the border area of terrorists.

Many Kurdish fighters left the fight against Daesh to defend Afrin and the BBC says some British volunteers are known to have joined them. Turkey says it has taken all measures to avoid civilian casualties.

It is feared she was killed by Turkish air strikes.

Meanwhile, Afrin residents and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported widespread looting and pillaging soon after Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters marched into the town centre. Images have emerged of torched stores, and of men in uniforms and others in civilian clothes walking out of homes with household goods.

A commander with the Turkey-backed Syrian forces blamed the looting on "thieves".

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