Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Turkey started further operations in northern Syria: Erdogan

Life gradually returns to the city of Afrin – March 22. 2018 Life gradually returns to the city of Afrin – March 22. 2018
Deanna Wagner | 02 April, 2018, 00:33

Turkey has already demanded the immediate withdrawal of Kurdish self-defense forces from Syria's Manbij.

It was not immediately when replacements for Interior Minister Flamur Sefaj and secret service chief Driton Gashi would be named.

The spokesman said "the family has been notified and our thoughts are with them at this hard time". A presidential source later said France could increase its military contribution to the US -led coalition which - alongside the SDF - is fighting Islamic State in Syria.

It is still not clear how the Syrian crisis will be settled, Yavuz said, noting that neither the us -led Geneva talks nor the Russia-led Astana peace process could offer much hope for a settlement for the moment as disagreements remain among parties.

Army of Islam military spokesman Hamza Bayraqdar told The Associated Press that the reports are false, adding that his group's stance is to reject displacement and demographic change in eastern Ghouta.

More than a quarter of a million civilians are said to have left the city.

The Syrian government has strongly condemned the offensive, calling Turkey's operation "a violation of the country's sovereignty".

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey March 30, 2018.

Macron's remarks also drew an angry reaction from Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag, who said Friday that the promise to back the Kurds amounts to support for and legitimization of terrorist groups.

French President Emmanuel Macron offered late on Thursday to facilitate dialogue between the two sides after he met a delegation of Kurdish and Arab fighters. "When he kept speaking so strangely-even though it may have been at a high frequency - I had to say something because it's not anyone's place to describe our military forces in an unacceptable fashion", Erdogan explained.

The casualties appeared to be the first to be killed or wounded in an attack this year on the coalition.

The US backing of the insurgent group has angered Turkey, but US President Donald Trump suggested on Thursday the United States would be withdrawing forces from Syria very soon.

Friday's statement did not say where the explosion occurred and did not state the casualties are Americans. The Associated Press notes that some local officials blame the Turks for stirring up trouble in the town as the prelude to an invasion. The statement said details were being withheld pending further investigation.

But Erdogan at the time sought to reassure him, saying Turkey had no eye on Syrian territory.