Jan 22 2018

McGurk visit to Syrian Kurdish cities shows commitment to protect Kurdish Forces - expert

Kajjo answered Ahval's editor Ilhan Tanır's questions about Turkey's Afrin operation on its third day. Kajjo, who is in regular contact with Afrin residents, stated that the residents of Afrin are "very scared" due to Turkish air strikes and shelling. 

Turkey began its operation against Afrin in northwest Syria last Saturday, aiming to defeat Kurdish forces in control of the area that it considers to be affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a group classified as terrorists by Turkey, the United States and European Union.

Sirwan Kajjo is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. He was a reporter for Voice of America's Extremism Watch Desk, where he covered extremism in Syria, Iraq and the broader Middle East. He currently writes extensively about Syrian and Kurdish politics.

Kajjo said that residents on the ground have reported that some of airstrikes have already hit the city center. Afrin's city center had been untouched since the Syrian uprising began in 2011.

While Turkish forces have been bombing Afrin and sending allied ground forces into Afrin, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Bret McGurk is reportedly visiting another Syrian Kurdish canton, Kobane.

According to Kajjo, this visit shows where the United States stands in this equation. Kajjo argues that McGurk's visit to the Syrian Kurdish cantons at this juncture shows U.S. commitment to protect and support the Kurdish forces.