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    Smoke rises from the Syria's Afrin region, as it is pictured from near the Turkish town of Hassa, on the Turkish-Syrian border in Hatay province, Turkey January 20, 2018

    Ankara's Operation in Afrin Weakens US Positions in Syria - Turkish Party Chair

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    ANKARA (Sputnik) - The ongoing Turkish operation carried out against Kurdish troops in Syria's northwestern Afrin district is aimed at weakening the United States' positions in Syria, since it is Washington that supports the Kurds in that area, the chairman of the Turkish left-wing Patriotic Party told Sputnik on Monday.

    "Turkey will defend its security and it is neither bluff nor blackmailing. Turkey protects its borders by starting the operation in Afrin… This operation is beneficial for Russia because it is aimed against the strengthening of the US positions in Syria, because the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK] and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party [PYD], affiliated with the PKK, are US pawns," Dogu Perincek said.

    The Patriotic Party chairman added that he hoped for cooperation between Damascus and Ankara during the ongoing operation, as such a partnership would be beneficial both for Syria and Turkey.

    READ MORE: Turkey Has Legitimate Interest in Border Security — UK PM's Spokesman

    The Turkish politician added that the crisis in relations between Ankara and Washington could result in the decision to prohibit the use of the Incirlik base in southeastern Turkey by the US servicemen and estrangement of Ankara from NATO.

    Damascus has strongly condemned Ankara's actions in Afrin, calling them a violation of the country's sovereignty.

    On Saturday, Ankara launched an aerial operation against Kurdish forces in Afrin. On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim confirmed the start of the ground operation in the region.

    The United States has been operating in Syria at the helm of the international coalition fighting against the Daesh terrorist group, outlawed in both Russia and the United States, among other nations. Additionally, Washington has been supporting the Syrian Kurds. Ankara has, in turn, sharply criticized Washington over its cooperation with the Kurds, since as it regards the latter’s organizations as terrorist groups.

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    Tags:
    positions, military operation, Afrin, Turkey, Syria, United States
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