05:51 GMT23 January 2021
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    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)

    The UN said on Monday that Syria is currently experiencing “some of the worst fighting of the entire conflict” nearly seven years after the war began. A representative of the Kurdish self-defense units, the YPG, Nuri Mahmoud spoke to Sputnik about the relationship of the Kurdish forces with the Syrian government troops and the United States.

    Mahmoud stressed that in the rural areas of Deir ez-Zor province, clashes occur from time to time between government forces and the YPG units, but the Kurdish forces “have no intention of attacking government forces.”

    Talking about the cooperation of the Kurdish forces with the United States, Mahmoud noted: “The purpose of our alliance with the United States is to jointly fight against Daesh, we have no other purpose in mind. We have no intention of fighting the Syrian government or anyone else. We want everyone to live freely and peacefully, we want an early resolution of the Syrian conflict within a united Syria. Our actions are always based on the principle of defense, not attack. Our forces fought against Daesh, because the group would never enter a dialogue, and it rejects the idea of a democratic settlement.”

    Kurds have liberated a vast territory of Syria he explained. “We are fighting for the stability of Syria. A large number of people from all across Syria are moving to the territories that we liberated from Daesh. We have freed and control 40 percent of the Syrian territory to date,” he said.

    Mahmoud denied allegations that Dash militants joined the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

    READ MORE: Syrian Kurdish YPG Reports Repelling Major Assault in Afrin Region

    “We are the force that is continuously fighting against Daesh. Those who claim the opposite, want to simply distort reality. YPG and YPJ [women's units of the YPG] units are the only ones that defended Kobani from Daesh. The whole world knows about our fight against Daesh,” he concluded.

    Turkey's started its military operation in Syrian Kurdish-dominated city of Afrin, dubbed the Olive Branch on January 20. As Ankara had repeatedly emphasized, the offensive was aimed at protecting the Turkish border with Syria from the terrorist presence, referring to Kurdish formations in the region: YPG and the PYD, linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.

    Damascus, in its turn, has expressed its opposition to the Turkish operation in Afrin, slamming such actions as a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

    The Kurds took advantage of the fighting in Syria and in 2011 and proclaimed a semi-autonomous state along the norther border of the country.

    The YPG and the broader Arab-Kurdish coalition Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are supported by the US and some of its allies as they helped fight Daesh.

    Turkey Starts Operation 'Olive Branch' in Syria (60)
    Operation Olive Branch, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Afrin, US, Turkey, Syria
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