Jan 25 2018

Afrin day 6: Trump warns Turkey over Syria operation

All updates about the seventh day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.

15.01 Turkey "openly violating Syria's sovereignty" - Syrian Deputy FM

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has said that Turkey's military operation in the country is an open violation of its sovereignty and that he would not rule out military action in response.

"Turkey's occupation ... is an attack on Syrian sovereignty," he told a BBC correspondent. "We will answer it directly or indirectly."

12.42 U.S. internal divisions mar its Turkey policy – Obama aide

Divisions between the Trump administration and the Pentagon have led to a lack of consistent messaging towards Turkey, President Barack Obama’s former deputy assistant secretary of state wrote in Foreign Policy magazine.

“Lack of consistent messaging and policy coordination across the Trump administration has complicated this already delicate matter,” Amanda Sloat said.

12.32 We will battle U.S. in Manbij if necessary – senior FSA officer

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) deputy chief of general staff said his group was willing to fight U.S. forces if necessary to secure the area of Manbij in Syria, he told Islamist newspaper Yeni Şafak.

“Rather than the PKK, the U.S. is the more pressing problem. In the case that the Turkish Armed Forces and the FSA were to enter Manbij, the U.S., as it did in Afrin, will withdraw its support from the terrorists. If it does not, we will battle U.S. forces deployed in that region as well,” Haitham Afeisi said.

12.16 White House phone call readout fake news – Turkish palace sources

A phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump was wrongly written up by the White House, Turkish presidential palace sources said.

Contrary to what the White House had said, Trump had not relayed his concerns about “escalating violence” in Afrin, the channel said, and the two men had not gone beyond a simple exchange of views on the issue.

11.55 Turkey to fight terror "from Iran to Mediterranean" - PM Yıldırım

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that Turkey would continue fighting the majority-Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and its allies until they were defeated not only in Afrin, but also in Syria east of the Euphrates and in northern Iraq.

Over 300 YPG fighters had so far been killed in Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, he said.

0.01 Trump warns Turkey not to risk conflict with United States

U.S. President Donald Trump warned his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Wednesday to avoid risking military conflict with the United States during the ongoing Turkish military incursion into Syria, a White House statement said.

The Jan. 14 announcement of a U.S.-backed 30,000-strong border force including many fighters from Kurdish groups deemed by Turkey to be terrorists, spurred Turkey into launching a military offensive against the majority-Kurdish area of Afrin in northwest Syria.

(All times Turkish)

All updates about the fifth day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.