Turkey, Iraq plan joint offensive against Kurdish rebels

Glen Norman
March 11, 2018

The talks between Turkish and American officials have begun in the USA capital, Washington where they are expected to discuss a number of matters of bilateral interest, Syria and Turkey's ongoing Operation Olive Branch, in Afrin, among them.

Erdogan also said that a total of 3,171 terrorists have been "neutralised" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on worldwide law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly vows to "clean the region from this trouble completely", signaling that the offensive against PKK and the affiliated group will not remain merely with the operation in Afrin.


Rami Abel Rahman, head of the Britain-based Observatory, said the aim was to besiege Afrin, cutting it off from other areas.

On Tuesday, Kurdish-allied Syrian Arab militias said they are redeploying 1,700 fighters from fronts against Islamic State to the Afrin region to help fend off the Turkish offensive.

Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to stop working with the YPG.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.


"Right now, Afrin city centre is surrounded".

Ankara says 42 Turkish soldiers have died in the fight.

Turkey is now engaged in a cross-border offensive in Syria to drive out Kurdish fighters it considers to be an extension of the PKK.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group that has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.


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