22:16 GMT11 April 2021
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    The military offensive by the Turkish Armed Forces in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin, launched on January 20, has triggered public outcry among members of international community and Kurdish diaspora around the world.

    About 7,000 Kurdish immigrants took to streets in the German city of Cologne, which is home to a large Kurdish community, protesting against the Turkish military operation in Syria dubbed Olive Branch, the German DPA news agency reported.

    According to the media outlet, around 20,000 are expected to participate in the rally Saturday afternoon.

    The local police forces have enhanced security, preparing for the demonstration, forecasting potential clashes between Kurdish and Turkish immigrants, as the latter support Ankara's move.

    Turkish Military Operation in Syria

    Turkey launched its military operation in Syria on January 20, soon after the US announcement of their decision to start training the new "Border Defense Forces," comprising the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish YPG militias, allegedly affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist group by Turkey and several other countries.  

    Explaining the advance by the necessity for the country to protect its borders from a "terrorist army," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had vowed to extend operation to other Kurdish-populated areas of Syria, such as Manbij, moving throughout our entire border.

    READ MORE: Olive Branch Op: Battle to 'Continue Till Victorious End for the Turkish People'

    However, Turkey has repeatedly underlined that the operation was not aimed against the Syrian government, calling the territorial integrity of Syria its mutual goal with Damascus.

    READ MORE: Erdogan: Turkey's Battles to Continue Until No Terrorist is Left on Iraqi Border

    Syrian Kurds, military operation in Syria, Kurds, rally, protest, Operation Olive Branch, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Afrin, Germany, Turkey, Syria, Cologne
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