On November 17, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed to clear the Syrian city of Afrin in the northern Aleppo countryside from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) during a meeting with officials of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), according to Reuters.
“We need to cleanse Afrin of the structure there called the YPG terrorist organization,” Erdogan said.
The president added that Turkey will deal with Afrin like it did during the Euphrates Shield operation, in a hint that Turkey is ready to take military actions against the YPG.
“Everything was clear during the Euphrates Shield operation, and now we are taking similar steps in Idlib, and we will take the same steps in Afrin,” Erdogan said, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Erdogan also said that Turkey is disappointed by the US, the main backer of the YPG. He accused the US of violating the alliance between the two countries and hindering the solution of many problems.
“We are greatly disappointed by the United States not keeping its promises. Many issues that we could have resolved easily… were pushed to a dead-end,” Erdogan said.
In a related development, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)-linked news agency announced that the Turkish Army deployed a new unit in the area of Sheikh Aqil west of Afrin in the western Aleppo countryside.
An official of HTS told Iba’a that 80 soldiers, 7 armored vehicles and 5 construction vehicles enters Sheikh Aqil from the village of Kafr Lusein in the Syrian-Turkish border.
The newly deployed force will work establishing a new observation position west of Afrin, according to Iba’a. The deployment of the Turkish Army proves that the Turkish president could be serious about “clearing Afrin from the YPG”.