Preparations underway for Syrian army to enter Kurdish-controlled Afrin

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-17 02:30:45|Editor: yan
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DAMASCUS, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- The preparations for the Syrian army to enter the northern Kurdish-controlled Afrin enclave have started, pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV reported Friday.

The Syrian army has started logistic preparations about the number of soldiers and military gears that will enter Afrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo province, as the area is under a nearly one-month military attack by Turkey and allied Syrian rebels, according to the report.

Meanwhile, Rezan Heddo, the media advisor of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), said in a live interview with al-Mayadeen aired on Friday evening that the group's aim is to preserve the unity of Syria.

He said his group welcomes any Syrian who would like to help to confront what he called the "Turkish aggression."

Regarding the Syrian army, Heddo said Afrin is a Syrian city, adding that the Syrian army can be present in any part in Afrin to help defend the city against Turkish military campaign.

Citing the need to protect its national security, Turkey launched the cross-border "Operation Olive Branch" in Afrin in January to oust the fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), regarded by Ankara as the Syrian affiliate of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has been fighting for autonomy in the southeast of Turkey.

A recent UN report said at least 15,000 have been displaced since the start of the Turkish military operation against Kurdish fighters in Afrin.

Turkey has for long expressed dismay with the growing influence of the Kurdish-led groups in northern Syria, especially those affiliated with the PKK.