A temporary local council comprised of Kurdish, Arabs and Turkmen civilian representatives has been formed in the town center of Syria’s northwestern Afrin.
The Afrin town center was liberated by Turkish-backed troops on March 18. Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012, on Jan. 20.
Erdoğan voices discomfort over some nations turning Syria into ‘arm wrestling’ arena
Turkey is “very uncomfortable” with some countries that have turned Syria into an “arm wrestling” arena, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday.”We are very uncomfortable that some countries, which rely on their military power, are turning Syria into an arm wrestling arena,” Erdoğan said at opening ceremony of 36-kilometer (22 miles) long Baskentray rail in the capital Ankara.Erdoğan’s remarks came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia on Twitter to brace for U.S. military engagement in Syria following a suspected chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta on April 8 that killed dozens of people.Trump also blamed Moscow for being partners with “a gas killing animal”, referring to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.Trump’s posts on Twitter followed a warning from Moscow that the risk of a direct military clash between Russia and the U.S. in Syria “is higher than before”, with a Russian envoy saying that U.S. missiles flying over the war-ravaged country would be shot down.Turkey sets up camps for Syrians fleeing Eastern GhoutaErdoğan recalled that he had a phone talk with the U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in Syria.”Today, I will talk to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. How we can stop this chemical massacre [in Syria], I will again talk to him about this,” he added.Fight against terrorismErdoğan said at least 4,123 terrorists had been neutralized since the launch of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria’s Afrin.Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.Kremlin says Syrian crisis communications link with US in useOn Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrintown center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.Erdoğan said YPG/PKK terrorists will be eliminated “one by one”, adding: “We will continue our presence and activities in Syrian territories until they become safe for everyone.”He also slammed those who support “bloody Assad regime” and YPG/PKK terrorist organizations.Erdoğan said that the number of “neutralized” PKK terrorists in northern Iraq reached 337.Airstrikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq, where the terror group has its main base in the Mt. Qandil region, near the Iranian border, have been carried out regularly since July 2015, when the PKK resumed its armed terror campaign.Turkey’s global tiesThe president said that Turkey has no intention of giving up its alliance with the U.S., partnership with Russia or cooperation with Iran.“Relations with Iran, Russia and China are not an alternative to ties with the West,” Erdoğan said.
Western aid organizations scatter after PKK defeat in Afrin
Western non-governmental organizations based in Turkey’s Gaziantep and Syria’s Afrin that were established for so-called “humanitarian aid,” but had a hidden agenda of supporting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist organization have disappeared after the Turkish military liberated Afrin within the scope of Operation Olive Branch.These NGOs, which helped and supported PKK/PYD terrorists under the pretext of helping ‘civilians’ during the terrorists’ occupation of Afrin, vacated the area and stopped sending so-called ‘humanitarian aid’ after the PKK fled the region. The NGOs flourished under the occupation and supplied arms and ammunition to the PKK terrorists while being registered as humanitarian organizations.‘Over 160,000 Syrians return to terror-free regions’Erdoğan: 4,108 terrorists neutralized since onset of Operation Olive BranchTerror aid of $1.5 billionWestern countries reportedly transferred more than $1.5 billion a year to the PKK/PYD through hundreds of registered NGOs in the area. These groups include the Humanitarian Organization (IMPR), Community Catholic Relief (CRS), Danish Refuge Council (DRC), World Vision, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), People In Need and Irish Aid. These so called organizations helped terrorists with a hidden agenda with truckloads of food, health, education and clothing materials saying that “civilians need it.”They were operating mainly in the PKK-occupied areas in Syria such as Afrin, Ayn Isa, Qamishli, Ayn el-Arab, Manbij and Tel Abyad of Syria. However, there are no signs that they distributed aid to civilians in the area.On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town center of Afrin, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.Video: Turkish soldiers distribute bread in Syria’s Jinderes