13:15 GMT13 August 2020
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    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)

    Thousands of Kurdish immigrants have taken to the streets of Europe to protest against the Turkish military operation in the Syrian city of Afrin.

    The operation, dubbed Olive Branch, started on January 20 following the US announcement of its decision to train a 30,000-strong border security force on Syria’s northern borders that would include the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) affiliated with the YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group.


    According to police reports, some 7,000 protesters are demonstrating in the city of Cologne. Police have reinforced security to prevent any conflict between Kurdish and Turkish immigrants.

    ​Earlier this week, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had expressed the country’s concern over Turkey’s ongoing operation and announced the decision to halt supplies of German-built Leopard tanks to Ankara.

    ​His Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu denied those reports.

    "A commission was scheduled to meet to discuss Leopard tanks, but the meeting was postponed. Meanwhile, no issue of freezing or canceling [the deliveries of Leopard tanks] has been raised," Cavusoglu said.


    While protesting in London, Kurds have been calling on the government to stand by Afrin.

    “We have urged the Labor Party to place pressure on Theresa May and the British government in order for them to pressure Erdogan to end the incursion,” a Kurdish protester said.

    The French city of Rennes, as well as Swedish Stockholm has also joined the movement.

    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)
    military operation in Syria, protests, Afrin, Kurdistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, France
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