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    Ankara’s Syria Operation Aims to Fight Kurds, Gain Control of Aleppo

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    Rodi Osman, the head of Syrian Kurdistan's representative office in Moscow, stated that Daesh militants left the town of Jarabulus before the Turkish forces arrived there, as there is no real confrontation between Daesh and Ankara.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The real aim of Ankara’s military operation in Syria is to fight Kurdish militants and to reach Aleppo in a bid to retake the city before Syrian-government troops can, Rodi Osman, the head of Syrian Kurdistan's representative office in Moscow, told Sputnik.

    “Turkey’s main aim in Syria is not countering Islamic State [IS], because Turkey has never fought IS… All they say about fighting Islamists is a cover story. Turkey’s real aim is to fight the Kurds,” Osman said, adding that "Turkey is concerned by the strengthening of the Kurds, their advance on the west and liberation of the city of Manbij."

    The representative of Syrian Kurdistan added that Turkey is also afraid that the Kurds may seize control of the Syria-Turkey border and link the Kurdish autonomous regions of Afrin and Kobani in northern Syria, separated by jihaidists-occupied territories at the moment.

    According to Osman, after taking control of Jarabulus, the Turkish troops will advance toward Aleppo, capturing the cities of Al-Rai and Al Bab on the way.

    "The City of Al Bab is very important, as it opens the way to Aleppo, because Turkey's main goal is Aleppo. It is necessary for the realization of Turkey's neo-Ottoman plans," the Kurdistan spokesman said.

    Such advancement to the south would allow Ankara forces and Turkey-supported Syrian opposition groups to unite with other militants south of Aleppo, he said.

    “Without such a ‘corridor,’ the Syrian rebels south of Aleppo are doomed, as the city might be taken by [Syrian President Bashar] Assad's troops,” Osman said.

    According to Osman, Daesh militants left the town of Jarabulus before the Turkish forces arrived there, as there is no real confrontation between Daesh and Ankara.

    "IS militants either retreat in advance — the way they did in Jarabulus, when they simply gave up the town — or change clothes. Today they are IS militants, tomorrow they are the Free Syrian Army or some other armed group," Osman said.

    The Kurdistan representative said that since nobody can distinguish one fighters from the other, they can easily move from group to group.

    "It looks as though the Syrian opposition, with the support of Turkey, liberated Jarabulus from IS. While in reality, the fighters simply changed flags," Osman said.

    On August 24, Ankara announced that Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, had begun a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear Jarabulus of the Daesh jihadist group, outlawed in Russia. Syrian Kurds and Damascus have accused Ankara of violating the territorial integrity of the country.

    On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Syrian Kurdish militia would become a target for Turkish forces carrying out a military operation in northern Syria unless they move east of the river Euphrates.


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