Turkey says ground forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attack repulsed

Turkey says ground forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attack repulsed

Turkey says ground forces push into Syria, Kurdish militia says attack repulsed

The YPG said that after the first strikes on Sunday 10 people were killed; seven civilians, including a child, and two female fighters and one male fighter.

Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria's Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, as the Pentagon downplayed its plans to train the Syrian fighters.

Syria, Iran and Russian Federation have also come out against the planned border force, while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday: "If Syrians could solve their own problems, it would be much better". "Turkey's security concerns are legitimate", the statement said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to expand the offensive to Manbij, a town to the east that Kurdish forces seized from the Islamic State group in a costly battle with the aid of the USA -led coalition. The village borders a regime-controlled area with no physical contact to Afrin.

USA -led coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said that the coalition was not operating in the area threatened by Turkey.

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It said all weapons given to the YPG by the United States should be gathered up "without delay". "As the people of Kobani used to say, we will never leave our soil till the end, till the last drop of blood".

Turkey accuses the YPG of merely being the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a rebellion in the Turkish southeast for more than three decades and is regarded as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

The U.S.is insisting that it is training and supporting SDF units and the fighters along Turkey's border are internally oriented only.

Responding to an Anadolu Agency correspondent's question on whether it would be a policing force, Pahon said he would not characterize it that way, saying it is a "kind of security or stabilization force" or "some sort of hold force".

TEV-DEM called upon the Kurdish people and Syrian society to stand against the Turkish attacks and urged the worldwide community to provide security for the people of Afrin.

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani has joined Russia, Syria, and Turkey in opposing a new 30,000-strong border guard force inside Syria that the United States says is needed to keep Islamic State extremists out of the country. Tillerson then telephoned Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said that Damascus was informed about the operation.

Cavusoglu also said Russian Federation should not oppose operations in Syria's Afrin region and that Ankara would coordinate with Moscow and Tehran on air operations there.

"When the Turkish people and Turkish state's safety is in question, when it is necessary to remove risks and destroy threats, Turkey will do so without hesitation", Bozdag said.

Tillerson later said the "entire situation has been mis-portrayed, mis-described", admitting "we owe them (Turkey) an explanation".

He said Erdogan had threatened incursions inside Syria "once a week, every week" for the past year since the Euphrates Shield incursion Turkey launched in August 2016, which ended the following spring.

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It is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has a contingent of soldiers at the airport in the centre of Afrin.

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