Friday, 23 February 2018
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Turkey 'opens fire on Syrian regime forces' coming to the aid of Kurds in Afrin

Added: 22.02.2018 16:14 | 0 views | 0 comments


Turkish forces shelled a column of pro-Assad regime fighters as they tried to join with Kurdish forces resisting a Turkish incursion into northern Syria, Turkey’s resident Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The regime has been saying for days that it would dispatch fighters to support the Kurds as they battle to keep Turkey from taking control of the Kurdish-held pocket of Afrin. The confrontation pits the Turkish army and allied Syrian rebel groups directly against the military alliance backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, further scrambling northwest Syria's already messy battlefield. Mr Erdogan described the convoy as being made up of "terrorists" acting independently. He said Turkish artillery fire had forced it to turn back, although the Kurdish militia denied this. "Unfortunately, these kind of terror organisations take wrong steps with the decisions they take. It is not possible for us to allow this. They will pay a heavy price,” he said.  Syrian television had earlier shown the group of fighters passing through a checkpoint that bore the insignia of the Kurdish security force, some chanting "one Syria, one Syria", and driving further into Afrin. Pro-regime fighters drive past a banner of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan Credit: GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images Ankara's month-old offensive is aimed at driving the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as a big security threat on its border, from Afrin. The YPG hailed the arrival of the pro-government forces - which included militias allied to Assad but not the Syrian army itself - and said they were deploying along the front line facing the Turkish border. It made no mention of a deal that a Kurdish official said on Sunday had been struck with Assad's government for the Syrian army itself to enter Afrin. Erdogan said he had previously reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Assad's main international backers, to block Syrian government support for the YPG fighters. He described the pro-government fighters coming to the YPG's aid as Shi'ite militias, and said they would pay a heavy price. YPG media adviser Rezan Hedo denied Erdogan's assertion that the convoy had turned back under Turkish artillery fire, but he gave no details on its size or composition. A Britain-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said one convoy had entered Afrin while another turned back. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his forces had driven back regime troops Credit: Pool Photo via AP Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan said he had received Putin's agreement to block a Syrian government deployment in Afrin. Turkey and Russia have supported opposite sides throughout the war, with Moscow the closest ally of Assad and Ankara one of the principal supporters of rebels fighting to overthrow him. However, in recent months Turkey has lent support to a Russian-led effort to end the war with most population centres in the hands of Assad's government. Ankara said last month it sought Moscow's agreement before launching the Afrin assault. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the Afrin crisis could be resolved through direct negotiations between Damascus and Ankara. Assad's other main ally, Iran, is more closely involved than Russia with the militias that back the Syrian government on the ground, such as those who entered Afrin on Tuesday. The Turkish offensive has made gains along almost all the border area with Afrin, pushing several km (miles) into Syria and seizing villages. But the YPG still holds most of the region including its main town, also called Afrin.

Turkey vows to lay siege to Syria's Afrin 'in coming days'

Added: 22.02.2018 11:07 | 0 views | 0 comments


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said Turkish forces would soon lay siege to Syria's Afrin as a cross-border offensive targeting a Kurdish militia entered its second month. On January 20, Ankara launched an air and ground operation supporting Syrian rebels against the People's Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin region of northern Syria.

Turkey 'opens fire on Syrian regime forces' coming to the aid of Kurds in Afrin

Added: 22.02.2018 7:07 | 0 views | 0 comments


Turkish forces shelled a column of pro-Assad regime fighters as they tried to join with Kurdish forces resisting a Turkish incursion into northern Syria, Turkey’s resident Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The regime has been saying for days that it would dispatch fighters to support the Kurds as they battle to keep Turkey from taking control of the Kurdish-held pocket of Afrin. The confrontation pits the Turkish army and allied Syrian rebel groups directly against the military alliance backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, further scrambling northwest Syria's already messy battlefield. Mr Erdogan described the convoy as being made up of "terrorists" acting independently. He said Turkish artillery fire had forced it to turn back, although the Kurdish militia denied this. "Unfortunately, these kind of terror organisations take wrong steps with the decisions they take. It is not possible for us to allow this. They will pay a heavy price,” he said.  Syrian television had earlier shown the group of fighters passing through a checkpoint that bore the insignia of the Kurdish security force, some chanting "one Syria, one Syria", and driving further into Afrin. Pro-regime fighters drive past a banner of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan Credit: GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images Ankara's month-old offensive is aimed at driving the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as a big security threat on its border, from Afrin. The YPG hailed the arrival of the pro-government forces - which included militias allied to Assad but not the Syrian army itself - and said they were deploying along the front line facing the Turkish border. It made no mention of a deal that a Kurdish official said on Sunday had been struck with Assad's government for the Syrian army itself to enter Afrin. Erdogan said he had previously reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Assad's main international backers, to block Syrian government support for the YPG fighters. He described the pro-government fighters coming to the YPG's aid as Shi'ite militias, and said they would pay a heavy price. YPG media adviser Rezan Hedo denied Erdogan's assertion that the convoy had turned back under Turkish artillery fire, but he gave no details on its size or composition. A Britain-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said one convoy had entered Afrin while another turned back. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his forces had driven back regime troops Credit: Pool Photo via AP Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan said he had received Putin's agreement to block a Syrian government deployment in Afrin. Turkey and Russia have supported opposite sides throughout the war, with Moscow the closest ally of Assad and Ankara one of the principal supporters of rebels fighting to overthrow him. However, in recent months Turkey has lent support to a Russian-led effort to end the war with most population centres in the hands of Assad's government. Ankara said last month it sought Moscow's agreement before launching the Afrin assault. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the Afrin crisis could be resolved through direct negotiations between Damascus and Ankara. Assad's other main ally, Iran, is more closely involved than Russia with the militias that back the Syrian government on the ground, such as those who entered Afrin on Tuesday. The Turkish offensive has made gains along almost all the border area with Afrin, pushing several km (miles) into Syria and seizing villages. But the YPG still holds most of the region including its main town, also called Afrin.

Turkey to develop unmanned tanks, president says

Added: 21.02.2018 14:39 | 0 views | 0 comments


ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's president says the country will develop unmanned tanks to minimize risks to soldiers in combat. Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the plan Wednesday during a speech delivered at a conference on Turkey's five-year development plan. His comments came as Turkey's military is carrying out a cross-border offensive in Syria to clear ...]

Turkey 'opens fire on Syrian regime forces' coming to the aid of Kurds in Afrin

Added: 21.02.2018 14:10 | 0 views | 0 comments


Turkish forces shelled a column of pro-Assad regime fighters as they tried to join with Kurdish forces resisting a Turkish incursion into northern Syria, Turkey’s resident Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The regime has been saying for days that it would dispatch fighters to support the Kurds as they battle to keep Turkey from taking control of the Kurdish-held pocket of Afrin. The confrontation pits the Turkish army and allied Syrian rebel groups directly against the military alliance backing the government of President Bashar al-Assad, further scrambling northwest Syria's already messy battlefield. Mr Erdogan described the convoy as being made up of "terrorists" acting independently. He said Turkish artillery fire had forced it to turn back, although the Kurdish militia denied this. "Unfortunately, these kind of terror organisations take wrong steps with the decisions they take. It is not possible for us to allow this. They will pay a heavy price,” he said.  Syrian television had earlier shown the group of fighters passing through a checkpoint that bore the insignia of the Kurdish security force, some chanting "one Syria, one Syria", and driving further into Afrin. Pro-regime fighters drive past a banner of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan Credit: GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images Ankara's month-old offensive is aimed at driving the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as a big security threat on its border, from Afrin. The YPG hailed the arrival of the pro-government forces - which included militias allied to Assad but not the Syrian army itself - and said they were deploying along the front line facing the Turkish border. It made no mention of a deal that a Kurdish official said on Sunday had been struck with Assad's government for the Syrian army itself to enter Afrin. Erdogan said he had previously reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Assad's main international backers, to block Syrian government support for the YPG fighters. He described the pro-government fighters coming to the YPG's aid as Shi'ite militias, and said they would pay a heavy price. YPG media adviser Rezan Hedo denied Erdogan's assertion that the convoy had turned back under Turkish artillery fire, but he gave no details on its size or composition. A Britain-based monitoring group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said one convoy had entered Afrin while another turned back. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his forces had driven back regime troops Credit: Pool Photo via AP Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan said he had received Putin's agreement to block a Syrian government deployment in Afrin. Turkey and Russia have supported opposite sides throughout the war, with Moscow the closest ally of Assad and Ankara one of the principal supporters of rebels fighting to overthrow him. However, in recent months Turkey has lent support to a Russian-led effort to end the war with most population centres in the hands of Assad's government. Ankara said last month it sought Moscow's agreement before launching the Afrin assault. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday the Afrin crisis could be resolved through direct negotiations between Damascus and Ankara. Assad's other main ally, Iran, is more closely involved than Russia with the militias that back the Syrian government on the ground, such as those who entered Afrin on Tuesday. The Turkish offensive has made gains along almost all the border area with Afrin, pushing several km (miles) into Syria and seizing villages. But the YPG still holds most of the region including its main town, also called Afrin.

Turkey vows to lay siege to Syria's Afrin 'in coming days'

Added: 21.02.2018 9:13 | 0 views | 0 comments


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said Turkish forces would soon lay siege to Syria's Afrin as a cross-border offensive targeting a Kurdish militia entered its second month. On January 20, Ankara launched an air and ground operation supporting Syrian rebels against the People's Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin region of northern Syria.

Top German lawmaker in security row with Turkey at Munich meeting

Added: 19.02.2018 10:51 | 0 views | 0 comments

A row broke out on Sunday between a leading German politician of Turkish origin and Turkey's delegation at the Munich Security Conference, with the lawmaker being given police protection after what he said was a tense encounter with Turkish bodyguards. Cem Ozdemir, co-leader of Germany's ecologist Greens until late last month and a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he was given protection at the conference after police told him Turkish security, staying in the same hotel, had accused him of being a "terrorist". "(The police) told me there was a problem with Turkish security, that they had pointed out that a terrorist, or a member of a terrorist organization, was staying (in the hotel) -so me," Ozdemir told reporters after returning to Berlin.

Turkey’s PM expects top-level meetings of Erdogan, Merkel

Added: 18.02.2018 14:50 | 0 views | 0 comments


BERLIN (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says he expects top-level visits between his country's president and German leader Angela Merkel, a sign of improved relations between the two countries. Ties between Germany and Turkey have been strained over a number of issues, including restrictions on Turkish government officials holding election rallies in German ...]

Turks propose joint deployment with U.S. in Syria as allies aim to mend ties

Added: 18.02.2018 7:05 | 0 views | 0 comments

Turkey proposed on Friday staging a joint deployment with U.S. troops in Syria, as the two NATO allies sought to rescue a rapidly deteriorating strategic relationship that Washington acknowledged had reached a "crisis point". U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met President Tayyip Erdogan during a two-day visit that followed weeks of escalating anti-American rhetoric from the Turkish government. Relations between Washington and its main Muslim ally in NATO have been strained to the breaking point by several issues, above all Turkey's anger over U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey sees as terrorists.

Turks propose joint deployment with U.S. in Syria as allies aim to mend ties

Added: 17.02.2018 23:08 | 0 views | 0 comments

Turkey proposed on Friday staging a joint deployment with U.S. troops in Syria, as the two NATO allies sought to rescue a rapidly deteriorating strategic relationship that Washington acknowledged had reached a "crisis point". U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met President Tayyip Erdogan during a two-day visit that followed weeks of escalating anti-American rhetoric from the Turkish government. Relations between Washington and its main Muslim ally in NATO have been strained to the breaking point by several issues, above all Turkey's anger over U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey sees as terrorists.

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