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  Thousands flee the Turkish military offensive – Politics | Bit Updates
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Thousands flee the Turkish military offensive – Politics

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 | bitcoin updates

In view of the Turkish offensive against the Kurdish militia YPG in northern Syria, according to UN estimates, around 5000 people from the Kurdish enclave of Afrin have fled to surrounding villages. Another 1,000 people have been displaced in neighborhoods of the Syrian city of Aleppo, said UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric on Tuesday. Humanitarian workers are very concerned about the fate of some 324,000 people in the YPG-controlled region. Meanwhile, Ankara threatened to extend the operation to other Kurdish-controlled areas. The Turkish army had launched "Operation Olive Branch" on Saturday and attacked YPG positions in the Afrin region with artillery and air strikes. On Sunday, a ground offensive followed. Since the beginning of the Turkish offensive, numerous enemy fighters were killed, according to the army. At least 260 "members of terrorist organizations" have been "neutralized", said the General Staff in Ankara on Tuesday evening. By "neutralized" is meant in the usage of Turkish security forces usually killed, but the term can also mean injured or captured. There was no confirmation from the YPG on these figures. The armed forces confirmed that one soldier was killed and another wounded on Tuesday in Syria. Another soldier had already been killed on Monday. The army emphasized that the operation was directed exclusively against terrorists. Make every effort to protect the civilian population. The YPG controls the Afrin region and is the Syrian branch of the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK. The PKK is classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey, the EU and the USA. The YPG is also an ally of the US-led coalition against the terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS) in Syria and was equipped by the US with weapons. However, the weapons should only be used to combat the IS, a spokesman for the Pentagon emphasized in Washington on Tuesday: "Should we see groups or individuals who oppose this agreement, we will investigate and, if necessary, suspend deliveries." Erdogan speaks of "cleansing" The offensive continued on Tuesday. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Kurdish fighters, Turkish jets flew over the area around Afrin despite bad weather conditions. A Kurdish spokesman reported artillery fire in the north of the region. The human rights activists also reported that Kurdish areas in the town of Kamischli in northeastern Syria were also shelled by Turks. Two children were injured. The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet reported that the soldiers stationed in the border province of Mardin reacted to the bombardment of Kurdish militias from Syria. From the official side, there was initially no confirmation.

According to human rights monitors, at least 100 people have been killed since the beginning of the offensive, including 23 civilians and several fighters on both sides. In addition, according to official figures, two Turkish soldiers were killed. The spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ibrahim Kalin, said on Tuesday that the operation would continue "until the separatist terrorist organization is completely cleared of the region." The goal is also that the approximately 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey in her In the meantime, the Turkish authorities are taking action against critics of the military operation in their own country. There were reports of numerous raids and arrests. This also affected journalists. Criticism of German arms exportsIn view of the situation in the Kurdish regions, there is still international concern, also with regard to the civil war country Syria. French President Emmanuel Macron expressed concern in a telephone conversation with Erdogan about the military offensive of Turkey. In a conversation with Erdogan, he recalled the need to fight ISIS and "all jihadist forces present," a statement in the Élysée Palace said. In addition, "the necessary humanitarian conditions for the civilian population" must be ensured and finally the conditions for a lasting political solution in the civil war country Syria favored. The Turkish state news agency Anadolu announced on Tuesday evening that Erdogan had because of the military operation against the Kurdish militia YPG in the region Afrin also on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said, according to Anadolu, this Wednesday, US President Donald Trump wants to call Erdogan. The left-wing leader Sahra Wagenknecht meanwhile called for the withdrawal of Bundeswehr soldiers from the NATO base in Konya, Turkey. The federal government can not rule out that the data collected with Awacs reconnaissance aircraft there would be used "for the war of aggression" Erdogans against the Kurds in Syria, said Wagenknecht the newspapers of the spark media group. In addition, Wagenknecht called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) to stop German arms exports to NATO partner Turkey immediately. (AP)


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