Mar 07 2018

Afrin Day 47: U.S. says Turkey risks humanitarian crisis in Syria

13:38 Turkish incursion risks humanitarian crisis in Syria, U.S. says

Turkey’s ongoing offensive against the Kurdish-held Syrian enclave of Afrin risks sparking a humanitarian crisis, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a briefing late on Tuesday.

Turkey’s cross-border incursion into Syria, which began on Jan. 20, has strained ties with its NATO ally the United States. Turkey says its aim is to push the majority-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) out of Afrin. The United States backs the YPG, however, which makes up the backbone of forces fighting Islamic State (ISIS).

“We have real concerns about that because of an escalation of violence,” Nauert said. 

12:26 Ex-Turkish military chief abandons U.S. speech amid protest

Ilker Basbug, the former head of the Turkish military, was forced to abandon speaking at a panel at a university in Baltimore after he was interrupted by a small group protesting the Turkish military incursion into Afrin, Hurriyet newspaper reported.

The protest in a lecture hall at John Hopkins University began after Basbug explained how U.S. policy toward Syria was contradictory because it was supporting a Kurdish group affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

One middle-aged man rose to his feet shouting “Why are you killing innocent people” and “stop bothering Kurds, why are you killing them?” video published by Hurriyet showed.