Turkish Forces May Advance Up To 20 Miles Deep In Syria - Kurdish Politician

Turkish Forces May Advance Up to 20 Miles Deep in Syria - Kurdish Politician

The Turkish forces may seek to go 32 kilometers (some 20 miles) deep in Syria, which covers the area of the long-planned US-Turkish "safe zone" in the northern part of the country, after Ankara started a military operation in the area, Abdul Hakim Bashar, vice president of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (ENKS), an umbrella group of the Kurdish parties in Syria, told Sputnik on Wednesday

GENOA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 09th October, 2019) The Turkish forces may seek to go 32 kilometers (some 20 miles) deep in Syria, which covers the area of the long-planned US-Turkish "safe zone" in the northern part of the country, after Ankara started a military operation in the area, Abdul Hakim Bashar, vice president of the Kurdish National Council in Syria (ENKS), an umbrella group of the Kurdish parties in Syria, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of a military operation against the Kurdish forces and the Islamic State terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) in northern Syria. Erdogan said the goal of the operation was to neutralize terror threats against Turkey and establish a safe zone in the area.

"I do not know until where the Turkish troops will go, but I assume that it would be 32 kilometers deep from the Turkish-Syrian border, as agreed by the leaders of the United States and Turkey two years ago in a phone call," Bashar, who is also deputy head of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, said.

Turkey has been long pushing for creating the safe zone in northern Syria and accused Washington of delaying the process, warning it could undertake a military action.

"I believe that this war and this intervention could have been avoided if the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] leadership announced the withdrawal of its political and military commanders, as well as military forces, from the east Euphrates area and stopped interfering in the affairs of the region, which corresponded to the vision of the United States, the European Union and Turkey," Bashar noted.

The politician stressed that Turkey could not accept the presence of military forces, which it considers as terrorist ones, near its borders.

"It will do everything possible to eliminate these forces ... The Turkish intervention in the east Euphrates has been expected for more than two years. Turkey is at war with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which is listed as a terrorist organization in the United States, Europe and Turkey. The Democratic Union Party, which controls the east Euphrates area with the US support, is part of the PKK, and its armed forces are part of the PKK forces and are directed by it. In other words, the east Euphrates area has so far been under the control and command of the PKK," Bashar said.

He noted that the United States had failed to separate the Syrian Kurdish units from the PKK.

"The United States had been desperately trying to sow discord between the Democratic Union Party and the Kurdistan Workers Party, but they did not succeed. The PKK continued to insist that it controls the east Euphrates area by various means," Bashar added.

On Sunday, the administration of US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria. The decision prompted a strong reaction in Congress as lawmakers characterizing the move as the abandonment of the US Kurdish allies and vowed to pass legislation to institute sanctions against Turkey as well as suspend the country from NATO.

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