Turkish jets destroy 45 terror targets in Syria's Afrin

“US Actions in Syria either Deliberate Provocation or Lack of Understanding”

Turkish jets destroy 45 terror targets in Syria's Afrin

The PKK has waged an insurgency in Turkey since 1984 that has claimed some 40,000 lives. Ankara fears that it could create a de facto state inside Syria. Now everything depends on how extensive the Turkish operation is.

USA backing of Kurdish forces - the Syrian Democratic Forces - has given rise to concerns by the Syrian government, its sponsor Russian Federation, and by Turkey that the enclave could become a semi-autonomous region.

Turkey has long threatened to enter Syria and clear out the forces of the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Ali Rizk, expert on Middle Eastern affairs and contributor to Al-Monitor, told RT the Turkish offensive against the Syrian Kurds "is a very significant development, and where it might lead is unknown".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday warned supporters of the HDP, parliament's third-largest party, not to demonstrate against the military operation, saying security forces would be "on their necks" if they did.

"I'm extremely anxious", Mogherini said commenting on the ongoing operation.

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. Iran expresses concern and Syria's Assad condemns the operation. There is a precedent for successful Syrian covert action against the United States and Israel. These three entities undoubtedly see the US scheme as a pretext to keep a military presence in Syria, deprive Syrian authorities control over large swaths of the country and gain leverage over the war's putative victors.

Washington has sought to placate the Turks. "There will be some US military there, but the main effort shifts to State Department's diplomats".

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"Washington has actively encouraged and continues to encourage separatist sentiments among Kurds", Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. "We have discussed this with our Russian friends, we have an agreement". The two countries last week resumed bilateral government consultations, which had been suspended after Ankara's arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel in February 2017, although the Yucel case remains a major irritant. He said the Ankara government has been "woefully ineffective at fighting them". US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking on his way to Asia, said: "We are working now on the way ahead".

"Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, has always been a stabilizing factor in the region", she said.

That argument, however, has failed to soothe Ankara's concerns.

The Kurds - including the YPG - had been among the most effective fighters against ISIS. The primary interest for the U.S.is not allowing the emergence of "Daesh 2.0".

On Sunday Turkish tanks and soldiers enter the region of Afrin.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has become the highest-ranking USA official to visit the new American embassy in London, a building that President Donald Trump derided for its cost and location. Second, that "the Trump team will keep the USA military inside of Syria, however long it takes, to ensure its goals are met".

"Will they (the USA people) support a clash with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, to keep armed Kurds on Turkey's border, when the Turks regard them as terrorists?" noted Buchanan, pointing out that "the Turks have a vital interest in keeping armed Kurds out of their border regions adjacent to their own Kurdish minority".

It's the northeastern, relatively empty half, with less than one-fifth of Syria's population, but it includes all of Syria's border with Iraq and nearly all its border with Turkey.

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