President Rouhani Calls for Further Iran-Russia-Turkey Talks on Syria

20 February 2018, 06:31 | Isaac Mcdaniel

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis

Last month, the YPG and its umbrella organization, the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, urged Assad's government to intervene in the conflict in favor of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity against what they consider a foreign invasion.

On Monday, the Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported that pro-regime "Popular Forces" would be entering Afrin despite the fact that a Turkish military operation to remove YPG/PKK-ISIL terrorists' remains ongoing there.

Jabbour said she doubted the regime would move into Afrin because "behind the scenes Turkish forces and Syrian forces are talking to each other", adding Russian Federation would not allow the regime to enter direct confrontation with Turkey.

Syrian state TV says pro-government forces will begin entering the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin in the country's northwest "within hours".

The United States denies giving support to the SDF/YPG forces in Afrin and has continued in efforts to dissuade Turkish president Erdogan from continuing his assault on the Kurdish Cantons.

Syrian state television showed a convoy of pro-government militias backed by Syrian Forces said to be entering the northern Afrin district on February 20.

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Turkey says the YPG is linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.

Badran Jia Kurd, an adviser to the Kurdish-led administration in north Syria, told Reuters army troops would deploy along some border positions and could enter the region within the next two days. The YPG's ultimate aim is to establish an autonomous region in northern Syria by connecting the northwestern Afrin canton to the Kobani and Jazeera cantons in the northeast, which would provide the group access to the Mediterranean Sea.

"If he enters Afrin and stands with the PKK/PYD/YPG, he will suffer the consequences", the opposition party head said. But they have also indirectly worked together in the past, and Turkey represents a common enemy.

Three of the foreign fighters to rally to the call for worldwide support from Rojava have been killed fighting Turkish military Forces. The Turkish officials detailed the call on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, and did not mention an agreement for government troops to enter Afrin. The paper claimed that under the deal, the YPG had agreed to hand over heavy weapons it holds.

The besieged region known as eastern Ghouta has been subjected to weekslong bombardment that has killed and wounded hundreds of people.

The Observatory said airstrikes and shelling killed 44 people.



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