Jan 22 2018

Turkish delegation told Moscow Afrin was final target - newspaper

Turkey assured Russia there would be no mission creep after its military operation against the Kurdish-held Syrian enclave of Afrin and that would be its final target, Russian daily newspaper Kommersant quoted anonymous Russian Defence Ministry sources as saying.

The assurances were given at a meeting in Moscow last week between Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar and Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, the newspaper said.

The Turkish delegation said Afrin was “the final and unchanging target” and assured the Russians the operation would not expand further into Syria.

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly promised to expand the Afrin operation into neighbouring Manbij and elsewhere in Kurdish-controlled territory.