25 January, 2018
U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said Turkey's offensive is distracting from efforts to defeat Islamic State.
Ankara views the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Syrian Kurdish group.as a threat, since it is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a movement that is fighting for a separate state within Turkey. That's where the US and 23 other countries launched a new organization aimed at identifying and punishing anyone who uses chemical weapons. Ninety-one people were detained in 13 provinces in Turkey, state media reported on Tuesday, after 24 people had been detained in other cities on Monday.
Turkey has killed at least 260 Syrian Kurdish fighters and Islamic State militants in its four-day-old offensive into the Kurdish-dominated Afrin region of northwest Syria, the Turkish military said yesterday.
"The whole world knows Daesh is not present in Afrin", Redur Xelil told the news agency.
A push towards Manbij, in a separate Kurdish-held enclave some 100 km (60 miles) east of Afrin, could threaten USA plans to stabilise a swath of northeast Syria.
"It's a fact that U.S. forces are seriously involved in creating alternative government bodies in a vast part of the Syrian territory", Lavrov said. The U.N. says an estimated 5,000 people have been displaced by fighting in northern Syria, and it's unclear what the U.S.is willing to do to calm the situation.More news: Battling Bournemouth hold West Ham to 1-1 draw
France's top diplomat is urging Turkey to exercise restraint in Syria, expressing concern about the violent Turkish offensive against a Kurdish enclave.
Erdogan said on Monday that the offensive had been agreed with Russian Federation but this has not been confirmed by Moscow. In the past few years, Turkey has "so dismantled the rule of law in the country you don't have anymore an independent judiciary or freedom of the press, and civil society has been suppressed". Either the Americans must abandon the Kurds who fought alongside them in Syria, or a profound rift with a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally appears all but inevitable.
The US and Ankara may come face-to-face in Manbij, though the possibility is "small", Turkey's deputy prime minister said. "Therefore", the statement says, "we hold Russian Federation as responsible as Turkey".
Syria's plight actually got a bit worse this week, as Turkey invaded the border region known as Afrin. He said Turkish troops have suffered seven or eight losses.
The Pentagon chief said the US and its Kurdish partners, known as the YPG, are "on the cusp" of fully defeating IS in Syria.
The air and ground operation has opened a new front in Syria's multi-sided civil war and could threaten US plans to stabilise and rebuild a large area of northeast Syria - beyond President Bashar al-Assad's control - where Washington helped a force dominated by the YPG to drive out Islamic State militants. That's what the unraveling US relationship with "NATO partner" Turkey has come to: military brinkmanship...
The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, said UNIMI would determine responsibility for chemical attacks in Syria "on the basis of credible, verified and corroborated evidence, collected in the course of on-site visits". Moscow is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most powerful ally.