US calls on Turkey not to take action in Syria’s Afrin
State Department says main focus in Syria should be fight against Daesh
By John Mills, Contributing Reporter
WASHINGTON/USA – The U.S. State Department on Thursday urged Turkey not to take any action in northern Syria, calling on Ankara to remain focused on fight against Daesh terrorist group.
At a news briefing, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. wanted Turkey to abstain from violence in the northwestern city of Afrin.
“We would call […] on the Turks to not take any actions of that sort,” Nauert said.
“We don’t want them to engage in violence but we want them to keep focused on ISIS,” she said, using another acronym for Daesh.
An operation in Afrin — a region bordering Turkey’s Hatay and Kilis provinces — is widely expected in the wake of Turkey’s successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which ended in March 2017.
The Bashar al-Assad regime handed over Afrin to the PYD/PKK without putting up a fight, and there are currently some 8,000-10,000 terrorists in the area, according to information gathered by Anadolu Agency.
After Turkey warned of their presence in Afrin, terrorists are now hiding out in shelters and pits in residential areas there.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.