Afrin was surrounded by uncertainty
The situation in the town of Afrin with a predominantly Kurdish population in the North of Syria remains unclear. After reports emerged about the agreement of the Kurdish forces c Damascus and the imminent entry into the area of government troops to prevent the advance of Turkish forces, the situation escalated. While in Ankara claim that the information about the entry of Syrian troops is just “propaganda” and an attempt to advance loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces repulsed. However, the RT TV channel has published a video that shows: Pro-government troops still came into the town in jeeps. Today, the Kurds have confirmed this information “RIA Novosti”.
In the evening yesterday, Turkish and Syrian sources report contradictory information about the situation in Afrin. We will remind, on Monday, citing Kurdish sources reported that Syrian government troops were preparing to enter the city to help the Kurdish troops to contain the offensive of the Turkish army, which conducts an operation “Olive branch”.
However, the question of the extent to which this agreement is made and implemented if at all, remains controversial. Absolutely all Turkish officials claim that about any government entering Syrian army in Afrin. “It is clear that news about the agreement between the PYD/YPG (the Kurdish movement, the Democratic Union and the Kurdish forces of self-defense.— “B”) and the regime (of Bashar al-Assad.— “B”) were of a propaganda nature. But this does not mean that dark, dirty transactions are not conducted, wrote yesterday in his Twitter press Secretary of the President of Turkey Ibrahim Kalin.— But no matter what anyone did, “Olive branch” will continue and achieve their goals.” The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that “some Pro-government (of Syria.— “B”) forces tried to approach the Syrian Afrino, but retreated after the shelling.” “Now this issue is closed, — said the Turkish President.— In the coming days, the centre of Afrin is surrounded by us.”
According to Mr. Erdogan, on this account it has agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 19 February they were talking over the phone.
However, the RT Arabic channel yesterday published a video which shows how a few jeeps with armed men, chanting “the Syrian People are one!” to enter the city. On the machines decorated with the state flags of Syria. In the story the reporter claims that, despite the shelling by Turkish troops, part of the Pro-government troops managed to break into Afrin. Today this information was confirmed by the representative of the Kurdish self-defense forces Afrin Razan the head.
“Erdogan turned out to be a bad traffic COP, saying he stopped the movement of Syrian forces, who were sent to Afrin. These words are wrong — the forces are in Afrin,” said Mr. head, “RIA Novosti”.During the download an error has occurred.
“What applies to Turkish aggression in the Afrin, it is a flagrant violation of Syrian sovereignty,” — said in today’s interview with TASS, the Syrian Ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad. But he added that he had “no information about being in the moment the Syrian army in ‘Afrīn”.
Despite widespread fears that the entry of Syrian forces in Afrin threatens a direct military clash between Ankara and Damascus, a Turkish political scientist, expert of the international discussion club “Valdai” Mesut Dr. hakkı Casin, told “Kommersant” that a major escalation is not worth waiting. “Turkey is not at war with the regular Syrian army, because it is not our enemy. Our enemy is the terrorists of the PKK (armed Kurdish forces in Northern Syria in Ankara being connected with this organization, which is recognized in Turkey as a terrorist.— “Kommersant”). Together with Russia and Iran, we guarantee the territorial integrity of Syria.” In addition, Mr. Cashin reminded that the intelligence services of Turkey and Syria, still maintain contact, which should allow you to avoid incidents. This is also at today’s press conference, said Ibrahim Kalin. “In emergency situations, when necessary, the relevant structures of Turkey can make contact with the Assad regime. It is in principle one of the duties of intelligence.”
Kirill Krivosheev, Marianna Belenkaya