Feb 28 2018

Afrin Day 40: Turkey slams U.S. for requesting pause to incursion

16:57 U.S. should withdraw jets from Turkish base - analyst

The United States should withdraw combat aircraft from a base in southern Turkey that are used to support Kurdish militants in Syria, as a means to improve relations with its NATO ally, said Aaron Stein in a commentary for War on the Rocks.

The measure at the İncirlik base, coupled with other steps, would help further ease political tensions, which have abated somewhat since a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Ankara just over a week ago, said Stein, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.

13:22 More than 100 terrorists "neutralised" in Afrin, Turkish army says

Turkey's military said 101 fighters belonging to Kurdish groups and islamic State (ISIS) have been "neutralised" in the latest clashes in Afrin, bringing the total since hostilities began on Jan. 20 to 2,184.

Turkey uses the term "neutralised" to denote people killed, captured or who have surrendered to its forces.

13:17 Turkey criticises U.S. demand for pause to operations

Turkey characterized as "baseless" a U.S. State Department request for its NATO ally to adhere to a UN Security Council-backed ceasefire in Syria.

Turkey would encourage Washington to focus on stopping Syrian regime atrocities elsewhere in Syria, such as in eastern Ghouta, and refrain from statements that support terrorists, foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in Ankara on Wednesday, according to NTV television. Turkey is exercising its right to self defence under UN charters, he said.