Friday, January 15, 2021

US-Turkey Tensions Rise As Erdogan Threatens to Extend Op Afrin to Manbij

A Kurdish military group backed by the United States has deployed its fighters in Syria’s Manbij area to tackle the Turkish military. The US has its military personnel deployed in the Afrin area, that is about 100km to the west of Manbij.

Spokesperson of the US military coalition said that the forces operating in Manbij have every right to defend themselves in case of an attack. Manbij Military Council’s Sharfan Darwish said the forces were preparing to battle the Turkish soldiers in case such a need arises. Darwish said the team was in full readiness while acknowledging that their international coalition coordination still continues in Manbij.

Read: US-Turkey Conflict: Now Turkey Suspends Visa for US Citizens

Erdogan and Trump Discuss Manjib Issue

The rising tension in the Syrian region on Wednesday resulted in a telephonic conversation between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Donald Trump. Over the conversation, Trump reportedly spoke of Turkey’s ‘destructive and false rhetoric’ in the current situation. A White House statement revealed that Trump has urged the Turkish forces to maintain caution in terms of military actions, civilian casualties and displacing of refugees. He further urged them to avoid any path that may result in a possible conflict between the United States and Turkey. Earlier on Wednesday the Turkish President had sent out threats of extending the Operation Afrin to Manbij.

Read: Erdogan Lashes Out at Trump, says U.S Can’t Buy Turkish Support

Will Clean The Area Of Trouble, Says Erdogan On Manbij Issue

Viewing the YPG-trained US-backed forces as an extension of the PKK, the Turkish forces have threatened to the ‘clean’ the area from the trouble. Erdogan said their main goal is to exterminate the terrorists followed by a drive to make the area ‘liveable’ for the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Erdogan’s spokesperson, on the other hand, has warned the media houses against airing or broadcasting any fake or provocative news.

In other news, two people were killed while 11 others were wounded as a rocket from northern Syria crashed into a mosque and a house in Turkey on Wednesday.

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