By Steve Dellar  |  01-20-2018   News
Photo credit: @PressTV | Twitter

Turkish President Erdogan announced this morning that his ground army has started entering the northern Syrian province of Afrin to battle the 30,000 strong YPG fighters, whom it considers to be a terrorist army.

In the midst of a governmental shutdown, the world is waiting for the US’s reaction as they have backed the YPG during the Syrian civil war in their fight against ISIS.

The Turks, a Nato ally, did not wait for anyone’s approval. After shelling the area with their artillery for the past day, they’ve now sent tanks and men to the northernmost cities of the Afrin provinces.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Erdogan?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Erdogan</a>: After <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Afrin?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Afrin</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turkish?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Turkish</a> army will head to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Manbij?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Manbij</a>, then other cities till we reach <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iraqi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Iraqi</a> border.</p>&mdash; Barzan Sadiq (@BarzanSadiq) <a href="https://twitter.com/BarzanSadiq/status/954677508384968704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2018</a></blockquote>

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In a televised address today, President Erdogan assured his population that he wishes "to clear our country up to the Iraqi border from this terror filth that is trying to besiege our country."

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">President Erdogan accuses US of trying to deceive Turkey and the world regarding the YPG in Syria <a href="https://t.co/EMNYuCpXYf">https://t.co/EMNYuCpXYf</a> <a href="https://t.co/jBlLXDBt26">pic.twitter.com/jBlLXDBt26</a></p>&mdash; TRT World (@trtworld) <a href="https://twitter.com/trtworld/status/954704395471437829?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The Syrian town of Afrin, which is defended by the US-backed Kurdish militias, is now under attack by the Turkish army, with Erdogan announcing the war "has de-facto been started on the ground." Furthermore, he added that the offensive would “be followed by Manbij," another town on the Iraqi-Syrian border held by the Kurds.

The US-backed YPG forces stated they look forward to the battle and are keen to take on the Turks.

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">As answer to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turkish?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Turkish</a> threats, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YPG?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YPG</a> says we are ready to Challenge <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Turkey?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Turkey</a> in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Afrin?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Afrin</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AfrinOperation?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AfrinOperation</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AfrinNotAlone?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AfrinNotAlone</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Efrin?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Efrin</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AfrinOperasyonu?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AfrinOperasyonu</a> <a href="https://t.co/AZS9OanWOv">pic.twitter.com/AZS9OanWOv</a></p>&mdash; Bashar Azeez (@bashargwani) <a href="https://twitter.com/bashargwani/status/954361033249914880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 19, 2018</a></blockquote>

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So far there has been no Russian reaction to this move by Erdogan. The Kremlin controls the airspace over Syria and has military advisers in the region.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Turkey deploys thousands of Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels to a border province with Syria <a href="https://t.co/tlSEcP7I2J">https://t.co/tlSEcP7I2J</a> <a href="https://t.co/mlmUjvTdDS">pic.twitter.com/mlmUjvTdDS</a></p>&mdash; Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) <a href="https://twitter.com/AJEnglish/status/954693864610201600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 20, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Source:

http://www.dw.com/en/turkeys-erdogan-says-ground-offensive-on-syrias-afrin-has-begun/a-42234813

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