Kurds to Act as Human Shields Against Turkish Assault on Afrin
Mar 13 2018
Several people in Germany were left injured after police used pepper spray against some demonstrators opposed to Turkey's ongoing military operation "Olive Branch" against the KurdishPeople's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's Afrin region.
Over the last 48 hours, Afrin city has reportedly been targeted by Turkish air strikes, the water has been cut off, and the internet severed.
The Kurdish residents of Afrin have said they would act as human shield to confront a Turkish assault on the local Kurdish militia YPG who rules the city, days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the siege on the Syrian city was complete and that the Turkish army was preparing to enter it soon. Jamie Janson is a British volunteer with the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, in the Afrin region.
Erdogan asked. "We came in response to the calls on Afghanistan, Somalia and the Balkans, and now I am making the call, let's go to Syria".
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mohamed Rashid, a spokesman for Jaish al-Nasr, a group fighting under the Free Syrian Army umbrella, said that work to clear mines and explosives continue to ensure civilians can return safely to their homes. Erdogan also denounced North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Sunday, accusing the Western military alliance of failing to back Turkey's campaign.
Erdogan said on Sunday Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels were now just four to five kilometres from Afrin. "We are constantly harassed by terror groups on our borders".
The YPG has been a key American ally in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Turkey's offensive operation have raised tensions with Washington and European NATO powers.
Turkey's objective has put it in direct contrast to U.S.'s objective of building a force to stabilize the region.
"Turkey's goal is not capture of the territories of the other states, but only elimination of the terrorism threat in the region. Turkey will fight terrorists anywhere they operate", he added.