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Turkey Calls on U.S. for Support as Afrin Offensive Continues
25 March 2018, 12:53 | Floyd Cook
Syria demands Turkish forces' withdrawal from Afrin
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry described the current situation as an "occupation" of Afrin and said in a statement that the Turkish military operation has violated civilians' rights and forced them to flee the city.
Echoing real Turkish concerns, in the film the warhead is sent to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin by the United States for the fight against Islamic State but ends up being used against Turkey.
Director Erhan Baytimur said it was coincidence that Tuesday night's premiere fell so close to Sunday's capture of Afrin by Turkish troops.
The split with Turkey on US support for the SDF had been building for months and intensified when Turkey pushed across the border into Syria on January 20 in Operation Olive Branch. Relations with the USA have been strained over Washington's support for the YPG, and a direct confrontation between their forces is liable to ignite over Turkey's vow to clear Kurdish fighters from areas where US forces are embedded.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched 'Operation Olive Branch, ' meant to drive out the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), its all-female brigade, the Women's Protection Units (YPJ), and the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD) from Afrin.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that Turkish and Iraqi armies would carry out a joint offensive against the PKK bases in northern Iraq, probably after Iraqi elections set for May 12.
But AFP reporters in Afrin and a war monitor said the Turkish-led Syrian fighters went on a rampage after taking the city, pillaging shops and homes.
Colonel Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Defense Department was concerned about reports Afrin residents no longer have access to clean water. Turkey says the region is becoming a headquarters for outlawed Kurdish rebels who have been fighting an insurgency in Turkey's southeast since 1984. Ankara describes the armed group as "terrorists".
Turkey's state-run news agency said 11 people - seven civilians and four Turkish-backed Syrian fighters - were killed in an explosion in a building in the town center as it was being cleared of booby traps.
"Turkey will try to enhance the infrastructure and resources in Afrin after it is secured for them to return", Yasin Aktay, a chief adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told Al Jazeera. The U.S. also has a diplomatic presence in Kobani.
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