Thursday, June 29, 2017

Syria’s Afrin Canton must be cleared of terrorists: Turkey

A senior Turkish government official has said the Afrin Canton of the Aleppo Governorate of Syria must be cleared of terrorists, referring to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), amid reports that the Turkish army is reinforcing its positions on the border near Afrin.

“In order to stabilize the region, the Afrin region needs to be cleared of terror elements and terrorists. Turkey is continuing to work with its counterparts to achieve this end, with the help of the Foreign Ministry and the National Intelligence Organization [MİT],” Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak told reporters in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş late on June 27.

Afrin is one of the three cantons neighboring Turkey under the control of the YPG, the armed wing of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Ankara considers an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and therefore a terrorist organization.

The YPG has long been supported by Russia who has recently deployed more contingencies to Afrin in a bid to display its cooperation with the group in the face of Turkey’s growing unease with the YPG activities along its border.

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