America doesn’t want Turkey’s success in the region – oppositon deputy leader

All of the international powers active in Syria are hoping for Turkey’s failure in Afrin, and have been collaborating to allow Kurdish fighters to join the defence against the operation, the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s Deputy Leader Öztürk Yılmaz told nationalist news channel Ulusal on Thursday.

“Of course America doesn’t want Turkey’s success in the region,” he said.

“Nor does Russia. Nor does Iran. Under current conditions, neither does (Syrian President Bashar) Assad. Because we know that Assad is seriously nervous about the Free Syrian Army,” continued Yılmaz, referring to the Syrian rebel group that is allied to Turkey and participating in Turkey's ongoing military operation.

Turkey launched a military offensive, Operation Olive Branch, against Kurdish groups in the northwest Syrian area of Afrin on Jan. 20. The Kurdish groups, including the People’s Protection Units (YPG), had established an autonomous canton in the northern part of Syria and consolidated their control after the defeat of the Islamic State.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the terrorist-designated Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and saw its growing power on the border as a serious threat. Olive Branch has put Turkey at odds with its NATO ally the United States, which views the YPG as an ally in Syria and has deployed troops to a nearby region, Manbij, which lies in the YPG’s zone of control.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has demanded these troops’ withdrawal and threatened to expand the offensive to Manbij, prompting a strong refusal by U.S. military leaders and a swift visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to smooth over the difficulties between the NATO allies.

In spite of this, Erdoğan has continued his vows to strike Manbij after Afrin, as thousands of Kurdish fighters have taken leave of the coalition’s fight against the Islamic State to assist in the Afrin defence against Turkey.

According to Yılmaz, the United States is keen for Turkish forces to get bogged down in Afrin to prevent or delay the possible attack on Manbij. The CHP deputy leader added that this is an aim that is also shared by Russia and Assad’s regime, and that they must have collaborated in the deployment of Kurdish troops to Afrin.

“How are they coming from Manbij, from the north of Aleppo, and from east of the Euphrates River, is it just that they decided to come?” asked Yılmaz, referring to the Kurdish fighters flooding to Afrin.

“There are no more than two or three possibilities,” said Yılmaz. “First, the United States is mobilising them. The United States have made an agreement with Russia, which has taken this to Assad who has cleared the way for (the Kurdish fighters) to go. And that’s how they are coming to Afrin.”

The other possibility, according to Yılmaz, is that the fighters are travelling along a strip of territory north of Aleppo that is under the control of Assad’s regime, and are travelling under the regime’s supervision. In any case, Russia and the United States would be involved with such a mobilisation, said Yılmaz.
This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.