Feb 20 2018

Turkey sends special operations teams to join Syria operation

Turkey is preparing to deploy to Syria special operations teams from the police and gendarmerie to take part in “residential district” operations as a part of Turkey’s battle with Kurdish militants in the Syrian canton of Afrin, Cumhuriyet newspaper reports.

Quoting military sources, Cumhuriyet said the security forces attached to the Interior Ministry have been sent to the border and will be posted to the Syrian towns of Cinderes and Rajo.

Turkish troops and their Syrian-based allies entered the Syrian canton of Afrin in January in an attempt to defeat the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Turkey argues that the PYD-YPG are in fact terrorist groups directly linked to the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) who have been fighting for independence or autonomy in southeast Turkey for the past 30 years.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey’s fight against terror would spread to the whole region until “every terrorist dies".

Erdoğan said that Turkey would lay siege to the town centre of Afrin itself in coming days.

Meanwhile, Sol newspaper reported that 64 village guards from the Diyarbakir districts of Kulp and Ergani have been sent to join the Turkish operation in Syria.

Village guards are local Kurdish residents recruited and paid for by the Turkish state to act as military advisors and sometime fighters in Turkey’s ongoing war against militants of the PKK.