TURKEY’S OPERATION OLIVE BRANCH IN AFRIN

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On Saturday, Turkey launched an operation in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin aimed at rooting out terrorists organizations, which Ankara considers a threat to its security.  The operation launched by shelling and continuing by ground troops. Followed a day after Turkish ground troops, crossing the border into Syria alongside Free Syrian Army (FSA) as part of the called as Operation Olive Branch.

Before this operaton Turkey has repeatedly called US to cooperation against terror organisations but the US prefered the cooperation with YPG than Turkey in the fight againist Daesh. Turkey and the U.S. are so-called allies in “NATO.” But the U.S. is arming the Syrian branch of the terrorist organization that has fought for years against Turkey and wants to build a corridor that reaches the Mediterranean Sea. The U.S. constitutes the so-called “Border Security Force” from the Syrian elements of the PKK. The U.S. is doing it without even feeling the need to consult with its NATO ally Turkey.

The U.S. did not interfere with the Afrin operation, thinking that Russia would protect the “YPG.” Turkey and Russia well understood what the U.S. sought to do. The U.S. is playing the game of balancing its enemy with “another enemy.”

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan express that “Operation Olive Branch” is not targeting the Kurds. As its name suggests, the purpose of the operation is to establish peace in the region and to destroy the ”faction corridor” which will constitute a danger for the survival of Turkey.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said that Turkey would not step back from Operation Olive Branch until its goals are achieved and had an agreement with Russia regarding the operation.

“We will take control of Afrin, as we did in the Syrian towns of Jarabulus, al-Rai and al-Bab, and Syrians will be able to return home,” Erdoğan said during a speech to businessmen in Ankara, saying that the operation is to continue with the coordination of Russia.

Erdoğan also retorted the U.S. statement that calls on Ankara to keep the military operation limited in scope and duration. “The Afrin operation will end when it achieves its goal, just as Operation Euphrates Shield. The U.S. said the duration should be limited. But Erdogan have asked them: ‘When is your duty in Afghanistan going to end? Does the time end in Iraq? You are still there’,” the president Erdogan said. He added that Turkey does not have an eye on any other country’s land.

It needs to be known that Turkey considers the PKK a “terrorist organisation”, and sees the terrorists groups -such as YPG- as an extension of the PKK. So the aim of Operation Olive Branch is to eliminate terrorists from its area of operations.“The only target of this operation is the PKK, KCK, PYD/YPG, and DAESH terror organizations.

It should be noted that the Operation Olive Branch in Syria is not an operation “against our Kurdish brothers living in the region,” Turkey, which is backing the Free Syrian Army,  wants to create a 30- km “safe zone” in the region,

It is expected the operation in Afrin would be followed by a push into the northern town of Manbij, which the US-backed forces captured from the ISIS in 2016.

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