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    A Turkish army tank is positioned at a military post by the Euphrates river on the Turkish-Syrian border in Karkamis in Gaziantep province, Turkey, December 13, 2017

    Turkey’s Operation in Syria’s Afrin Does Not Serve Its Interests - US State Dept

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    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The reported military operation by Turkey in Syria’s northern province of Afrin does not serve the interests of Ankara or the region, a senior US Department of State official told reporters on Friday.

    "I have just seen summaries of the same reports. Frankly, I do not have any details of what is going on," the official said. "We do not believe that a military operation whether in Afrin or directed against the self-defense rather Syrian Democratic Forces, the SDF, in the north and northeast Syria serves the cause of regional stability, Syrian stability, or indeed Turkish concerns about the security of their border."

    The statement was made amid the reports of the shelling of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the Syrian city of Afrin by Turkish Armed Forces, which reportedly covered seven settlement, allegedly causing civilian casualties, with a 6-year old child among wounded.

    READ MORE: Anti-Kurdish Military Operation: Turkey Looking for New Sphere of Influence 

    Despite the US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert's calls on Turkey not to engage in any invasion of Afrin, remaining focused on defeating Daesh (banned in Russia), Ankara has been threatening to start a military advance in the region since last week.

    READ MORE: US Warns Turkey Against Actions on Syrian Kurds Amid Afrin Tensions

    This controversial move follows a reported US plan to train Kurdish forces in Syria to patrol the country's border with Turkey. The force is expected to be staffed partly by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), affiliated with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), considered to be a terrorist group by Turkey.

    The possibility of Turkish military invasion sparked mass protests in Afrin, where thousands of people took to the streets, calling for international assistance on January 19, with several rallies were held across cities in northern Syria.

    As Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag explained on January 17, Ankara was holding consultations with Moscow and Washington over a possible operation against the YPG in Afrin.

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    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)
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    shelling, Afrin, Turkey, Syria
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