Russia's Lavrov calls Turkey, Syria to resolve Afrin crisis through 'direct dialogue'

Aaron Brown
February 22, 2018

According to local media, since last Tuesday units of the Syrian Army began to enter the Afrin canton, despite the Turkish government attacked those forces to prevent their entry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said the issue of pro-regime terror groups in Syria's Afrin was "closed for now". "One more our comrade was injured", the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces' statement said.

Ankara's month-old offensive is reportedly aimed at driving the US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG), which it sees as a big security threat on its border, from Afrin.

"A dozen or so pick-up trucks had come to advance toward Afrin".

"Unfortunately, these kinds of terror organisations take wrong steps with the decisions they take. They will pay a heavy price for this".

Does this risk a wider escalation?

But presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin had tweeted to say that reports suggesting that Syrian government had struck a deal with the YPG were not based on facts, adding that "dirty and secret negotiations were being held".

Kalin said the fire targeting the Syrian forces was "warning shots", warning that Ankara would continue to attack Syrian forces if they again support the Kurds.

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Precisely, 65 members of Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), People's Protection Units (YPG) and Daesh terrorist organization were killed in Afrin on February 20.

As Damascus and Turkey were on the verge of triggering off a military clash, Russian Federation was speeding its steps to avoid any confrontation between both forces.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has harshly denounced the Turkish incursion as an act of aggression.

He added that the militias were forced to go back after artillery shooting.

The UN said "the humanitarian situation of civilians in Syria's east Ghouta is spiraling out of control", and called for a permanent ceasefire.

Meanwhile, Russia's foreign ministry acknowledged that dozens of its citizens and people from other former Soviet states were killed or wounded in a recent battle.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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