Syria offensive: U.S. seeks to address Turkey's 'legitimate' security concerns

Syria offensive: U.S. seeks to address Turkey's 'legitimate' security concerns

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organisation and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decades-old insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast. "Through its position ink Syria, Iran is in a stronger position to extend its track record of attacking US interests, allies, and personnel in the region".

Cross-border attacks by PYD/PKK terror group in southern Turkey started as Turkish army operation in Syria's northwestern town of Afrin continues. "We pray for strength and courage for the YPG", Zuheir Hussein, 32, told AFP.

On Monday Turkish soldiers and their Syrian allies launched a new attack on the Kurdish militia from Azaz, about 20 kilometres to the east of Afrin, as part of "Operation Olive Branch".

Turkish authorities emphasize that the operation's aim is not to question Syria's territorial integrity, but to eliminate threats directed at Turkey from Syrian territory.

Russian Federation - another key player in the multi-sided Syrian Civil War and the main backer of Syria's dictatorial President Bashar al-Assad - has thus far failed to react beyond a limited statement that expressed Moscow's concern for the uptick in violence. "This is why we have called for a Security Council meeting to evaluate all the humanitarian risks, which are very serious", said Drian.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington had proposed working with Turkey and forces on the ground in Afrin to "see how we can stabilise this situation and meet Turkey's legitimate concerns for their security".

On Monday, the Afrin villages of Shankal, Qorne, Bali and Adah Manli were reportedly captured, along with rural areas including Kita, Kordo and Bibno, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency.

The army chief also said there are not only PYD/PKK and YPG elements in the region, but also the Daesh terrorist group.

But Erdogan expressed impatience with U.S. demands to set a clear timetable, saying the campaign would be over "when the target is achieved".

"I have to admit, I initially suspected perhaps there would be some cross-border shelling, but they would not go as far as airstrikes or a ground invasion". No matter what, once Turkey succeeds in destroying terrorist safe havens in Afrin and prevents the emergence of new autonomous regions at its border, the worldwide community will be able to impose new cease-fire zones.

Turkey would notify the Syrian regime of the "Operation Olive Branch" through a letter to its consulate in Istanbul, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a televised interview with local NTV.

Turkish forces and their Syrian anti-Assad rebel allies began their push on Saturday to clear the north-western border enclave of Kurdish YPG fighters.

US-backed Kurdish forces on Monday pleaded with Washington to halt a Turkish offensive against them as it prepared to send reinforcements to the region.

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