Turkish govt. detains doctors over Afrin operation remarks

Turkey′s military incursion into the Kurdish-controlled northern Syrian canton of Afrin - launched on 20 January under the slighting codename Operation Olive Branch - ought to have taken no-one by surprise.

"Press TV crew comes under Turkish military attack in Rajo near Turkey-Syria border", the report says.

Last week the Pentagon said it is carefully tracking Turkish military moves toward the Syrian town of Manbij, 60 miles east of Afrin and where the USA has forces on the ground.

Turkey launched a military offensive against Afrin on January 20 to drive out the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, which is says are an extension of the outlawed Kurdish rebels inside Turkey.

Yildirim's remarks came in response to comments by French President Emmanuel Macron who warned Turkey against invading the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin.

"Turkey's aerial campaign against Afrin has escalated since Monday", he added.

The building constituted yet another - but relatively insignificant- piece of evidence of the organic ties between the PKK, recognized as a terror group by the USA, the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and the People's Protection Units (YPG), the main partner of the US -led coalition in Syria.

An AFP journalist yesterday heard consecutive strikes hitting areas surrounding Afrin town. Turkey strongly rejects such claims, saying it is doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties in the operation.

The United States has around 2,000 military personnel in northern Syria supporting an umbrella group of fighters, dominated by the YPG, which drove Islamic State from its Syrian strongholds a year ago.

The Syrian government and a war monitor said on Sunday that Turkish shelling of the Kurdish-held Afrin region of Syria had seriously damaged an ancient temple.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

  • Essie Rivera