YPG denies earlier claim that it agreed with Syrian regime over Afrin


On January 20, Turkey opened a new front in the long-running Syrian war when it launched a major offensive to expel YPG fighters from Afrin.

"The U.S. should stop playing very unsafe games which could lead to the dismemberment of the Syrian state", Lavrov said Monday at a Middle East conference in Moscow, alongside Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and a top adviser of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Syria's state news agency SANA, citing its correspondent in Aleppo, said that "popular forces will arrive in Afrin in the next few hours to support the steadfastness of its people in confronting the aggression which Turkish regime forces have launched on the region".

Erdogan's remarks come a day after the foreign minister declared that Turkey would battle Syrian regime troops if they enter the region of Afrin to protect Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Erdogan, for his part, briefed Rouhani on the presence of Turkish military forces in Syria's Afrin and said his country hopes that all districts in Syria would be cleared from terrorists.

"If Russia is indeed supporting this deployment, that means it would act in defence of its ally in case of an attack by Turkish forces on Syrian forces in Afrin".

Jia Kurd said the agreement reached with Damascus was purely military and that no wider political arrangements had been made yet.

The reports on Syrian state media specified that it would not be the Syrian army but militias allied to the Government that would mount the operation.

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The operation has further strained relations with the United States, which has given weaponry to the YPG as part of its fight against the Islamic State extremist group in Syria.

"If he enters Afrin and stands with the PKK/PYD/YPG, he will suffer the consequences", the opposition party head said.

"We judge it is extremely unlikely that Turkish forces used chemical weapons", a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council said.

Together, Turkey's tanks and loyal FSA brigades set up...

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag later denied the Syrian state media reports, saying they were "false" and had "not been confirmed by authorities". The Turkish officials detailed the call on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, and did not mention an agreement for government troops to enter Afrin.

The Turkish army has said 32 Turkish military personnel have been killed in the process. The paper claimed that under the deal, the YPG had agreed to hand over heavy weapons it holds. "It was stopped", Erdogan told reporters following a speech in parliament.

The besieged region known as eastern Ghouta has been subjected to weekslong bombardment that has killed and wounded hundreds of people.

Syrian state TV reported that rebels, in return, fired mortar rounds and rockets at Damascus, wounding eight people.