Turkey Detains Medical Association Members over Syria Offensive Criticism

31 January, 2018, 04:59 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Armenian man killed in Turkish shelling of Afrin

Turkey began its offensive to expel the People's Protection Units (YPG) from a northwestern enclave in Syria on January 20 as it launched artillery and air strikes on positions in Afrin in a campaign labeled "Operation Olive Branch".

The 28-year-old Kurdish-German midfielder is a prominent supporter of Turkey's Kurdish minority.

"No to war, peace right now".

The force, which has close ties to Turkey's own Kurdish rebellion, emerged as a major player in the war against the Islamic State group and a partner of choice for the US-led coalition.

Turkey, which considers the YPG to be a terrorist organisation, has called on Washington to end its military support for the group and to pull back from the Manbij region where some of its troops are stationed.

The initial focus on the Turkish assault has been in the Afrin border region.


What they have asked for during a Russian-sponsored meeting is the deployment of federal Syrian forces along the border with Turkey.

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, says it invited 1,600 representatives to the Syrian Congress of National Dialogue, but so far only the government and opposition representatives tolerated by it have shown up.

He said 649 YPG members were killed during the operation.

Newspapers in Greece, which has joined the USA in backing a Kurdish-led border force in Syria, criticised Bartholomew I's open letter, while the country's Orthodox church portal published a mock-up picture of the patriarch grinning next to a heavily armed Turkish soldier.

Gen. Votel says that the USA is not looking at pulling back in Syria, adding that the United States remains focused of fighting ISIS, despite ISIS having very little remaining territory in Syria. As many as 311 people have been detained in the past week in Turkey for allegedly engaging in "terrorist propaganda" through social media postings critical of the military operation.

"This might force them to agree to their demands".

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