Russia Asks Kurdish Forces to Withdraw from Northern Aleppo to Block Turkey’s Attacks
Media sources reported that Russia has demanded the Kurdish forces to retreat from several regions in Northern Aleppo to prevent Turkey’s aggression.
Rudaw news channel reported that a Russian delegation has held a meeting with commanders of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin city in Northern Aleppo and called on them to withdraw from five towns in the region to remove the threat of Turkey’s aggression against Afrin and adjacent rural areas.
The report added that the Russian delegation has demanded the Kurdish forces to withdraw from the towns of Manag, Tal Rifat, Deir Jamal, Sheikh Issa and Harbal and all the villages in al-Shahba region and open the Western Aleppo-Idlib road through al-Ahlam mountain near the town of Basouteh.
Meantime, the Russian delegation has explained to the Kurds that Turkey will set up three military bases in al-Ahlam and Sheikh Barakat mountains overlooking Afrin from the South and Babasqa mountain which overlooks Idlib.
They also asked the Kurds to expel all members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from Afrin and give control of the city to the local council and its security to the local police and popular forces.
A well-informed local source in Northern Aleppo reported early July that thousands of militants affiliated to the Turkish Army are to kick off an imminent large-scale operation codenamed Seif al-Forat (the Euphrates Sword) in Afrin region.
The Turkish-language Sabah daily reported, meantime, that the Ankara-backed militants are expected to start their operation from West of the town of Azaz and from the town of Ein Daqneh and Ming military airport in Northern Aleppo to move towards the towns of Tal Rifat and Afrin in Aleppo province and the town of Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa.
Meanwhile, The Turkish Army sent fresh reinforcements and more military equipment to a region that borders the Syrian town of Afrin Northwest of Aleppo province that is under the control of the Kurdish fighters.
The Turkish-language Anadolu news agency quoted security sources as saying that fresh forces and the convoy of military equipment have arrived in Kilis region in the Southern part of the country to provide back up for the Turkish soldiers that deployed at the border with Syria.
Salih Muslim, the co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), threatened that the Kurds will deliver control of the strategic town of Afrin to the Syrian government if Turkey continues aggression against it.
“If the US and Russia don’t help us stop Turkey’s aggression against Afrin, the town in Northeastern Aleppo will be delivered to the Syrian army as we did in Manbij,” Muslim said.
Noting that the Kurdish forces will block Turkey’s path to Afrin, he added, “Afrin is a part of the Syrian territories and we will not allow Turkey to occupy even an inch of the Syrian soil.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared at the end of G20 summit in Hamburg that Ankara will respond decisively to any threats on its borders, warning against any push by the Kurds to secure their own independent region.