Syria’s Afrin compels Moscow to stand against the assault led by Turkey

Syria’s Afrin compels Moscow to stand against the assault led by Turkey

Can Erok/DHA-Depo Photos via AP

Local authorities in Afrin, Syria, called on Sunday for world powers to intervene to prevent a Turkish-led assault on their region, while charging Russia of complicity in civilian deaths there.

On January 20, Ankara and allied rebels, launched the operation “Olive Branch” against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), that Turkey has blacklisted as “terrorists.”

Afrin’s local administration — the semi-autonomous government in place since 2013 — shot back the accusation on January 4 and urged Moscow to oppose the assault. As said in a statement:

“We ask the Russian Federation in particular to rescind its support for the Turkish state’s terrorism against the people of Afrin.”

“It bears responsibility for the massacres the fascist Turkish state is carrying out against innocent civilians.”

Russia had intervened militarily in Syria’s war in 2015. The country had troops positioned in Afrin but choose to withdraw them as Turkey launched the assault.

According to the YPG and Afrin officials, withdrawal amounted to tacit approval of the Turkish offensive.

Officials also called for the US, EU, United Nations Security Council as well as the US-led coalition that fights jihadists to “immediately intervene to stop Turkey’s aggression.”

Ankara claims it launched the operation to protect its southern border. It also insists that it's doing everything within its power to avoid civilian casualties.

However, the campaign has inspired mass protests, including in Afrin this Sunday.

Thousands of individuals marched in downtown Afrin holding YPG flags and posters of Abdullah Ocalan, Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)'s jailed leader.

Turkey has fiercely opposed to the YPG due to its ties to the PKK, that has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish forces.

“We’re holding the whole world responsible because we fought terrorism on behalf of everyone, but today the world agreed to kill Syrians,” Ali Mahmoud, 45, claimed.

Other demonstrators clutched olive branches, which symbolize Afrin's abundant olive groves but they're also now correlated with the name Turkey gave its offensive.

As Fikrat Afdal, 33, said: “They named their attack ‘Olive Branch’. It’s a thorn in their hand, but in our hands, it’s a gun.”

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 68 civilians, including 21 kids, have died in Turkish shelling as part of the assault.

Over 100 pro-Ankara rebels and an analogous number of YPG fighters have also died, according to the British-based monitor.


Syria’s Afrin compels Moscow to stand against the assault led by Turkey Syria’s Afrin compels Moscow to stand against the assault led by Turkey Reviewed by Katerina Papakyriakopoulou on 1:15 PM Rating: 5

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