Syrian army to enter Afrin under deal with Kurdish forces: report

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-19 01:29:54|Editor: ZD
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Turkish artillery shell toward Syria from the town of Reyhanli, province of Hatay, Turkey, on Feb. 12, 2018. Thirty-one Turkish soldiers have been killed and 143 others wounded since Ankara launched military operation in northern Syria last month, Turkish military said on Monday. The Turkish military campaign against Syria's Kurdish-controlled Afrin enclave in northern Syria has so far killed 180 civilians and wounded 413 others, according to a statement released Monday by the Kurdish forces. (Xinhua)

DAMASCUS, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army and the Kurdish-led forces have reached an agreement on the army's entry into the Afrin enclave where Turkey is launching a military offensive, a report said Sunday.

The Syrian army will enter Afrin on Monday, Sheikho Blo, a Kurdish commander, was quoted by the Rudaw Kurdish news outlet as saying.

The presence of the Syrian government in Afrin will only be militarily, as the political and administrative issues are yet to be concluded, according to the report.

Blo said the Syrian army will be deployed on the border areas between Afrin and Turkey, adding that the Syrian army will not enter the city center of Afrin.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said the deal reached between the Syrian army and the Kurdish forces is designed to stop the Turkish military campaign, which started on Jan. 20, against Afrin.

The UK-based watchdog group said the negotiations are still ongoing between both sides pertaining the administrative issues in Afrin and the weapons of the Kurdish militias in that area.

However, the Syrian army and the Kurdish Protection Units (YPG), which is in control of Afrin, have not yet commented on the reports about the agreement.

Turkey launched the cross-border military operation in Afrin in a bid to oust the YPG, regarded by Ankara as a terror group affiliated with the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's southeast, from the region.