In an interview to Sputnik, Kurdish YPG representative Nuri Mahmud detailed the disposition around the Syrian city of Afrin, where Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch is still underway.
“The attacks on Afrin by the Turkish army and groups of the Free Syrian Army, controlled by Turkey, have entered the fourth week – they launch massive airstrikes and employ heavy weaponry. Many countries feel indifferent to Afrin’s fate, whereas they should really demonstrate support of the city and help repel the Turkish offensive. If the Syrian regime deems itself landlord of this territory, it must close Syria’s airspace for Turkish planes and fulfill its commitments with regard to defending Afrin, which is part of the Syrian state. We haven’t engaged in talks with the Syrian authorities on this issue before,” Mahmud underscored.
Earlier the YPG units were reported to have reached an agreement with the Syrian authorities for the Syrian army to enter Afrin to help halt Turkish attacks.
Mahmud said that the army troops would be deployed at a number of positions along the border and were expected to arrive in the Afrin region within the next two days.
The Afrin offensive, code-named “Olive Branch” broke out on January 20. The Turks launched a massive attack against the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG groups, which now control Afrin and are deemed by Ankara affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — a terrorist organization, according to Turkey. Damascus has slammed the move as “treacherous aggression.”
Russia has also spoken against the offensive and urged all parties to the conflict to respect Syria’s territorial integrity.