'Syrian forces to back YPG' in fight against Turkey

A Kurdish YPG official claims regime forces will join Kurdish fighters in Afrin.

    The US support for YPG-led SDF forces has infuriated Turkey and created the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two NATO allies [Reuters]
    The US support for YPG-led SDF forces has infuriated Turkey and created the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two NATO allies [Reuters]

    The Kurdish YPG fighters claim they have reached a deal to allow Syrian government troops to enter Afrin in the northwestern part of the border town.

    Nuri Mahmoud, a spokesman for the People's Protection Units (YPG), told Al Jazeera on Monday that they are calling on the Syrian government forces "to preserve a united Syria", in a development that could mean regime forces might directly confront Turkish troops in the region.

    {articleGUID}

    Turkey and Free Syrian Army (FSA) - an Ankara-backed armed Syrian opposition group - last month launched an air and ground operation into Afrin to push the US-backed YPG fighters out to create a buffer zone on its southern border.

    Ankara considers YPG, which controls Afrin, a "terrorist" organisation.

    "Syrian soldiers haven't yet arrived. We are calling on the Syrian army to protect Afrin, because we'd love to preserve a unified Syria," Mahmoud told Al Jazeera.

    "We are saying this because the international community continues to address the Syrian leadership as sovereign and we call on this authority to protect its territory."

    He added that the Syrian government forces are expected to arrive within two days.

    No Turkish response yet

    Turkish authorities contacted by Al Jazeera refrained from making immediate comments on the Kurdish side's claims, saying that Turkey considers the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), active in Syria, and its armed wing YPG, to be "terrorist groups" with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    {articleGUID}

    The PKK has waged a decades-long armed fight against the Turkish state that has killed tens of thousands of people.

    The PYD/YPG has come to control large swaths of northern Syria, including Afrin, in the course of the Syrian war as it led the US-backed umbrella organisation Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

    The US support for SDF has infuriated Turkey and created the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two NATO allies.

    The latest development highlights the complex battlefield of northern Syria, which hosts a high number of actors, including the PYD/YPG, the Syrian government, rebel factions, Turkey, the US and Russia.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.