The US does not support the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria’s Afrin and the area was not a part of US-led coalition operations against ISIS, the spokesman of the US-led coalition Col. Ryan Dillon said in a written statement to the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu on January 16.
“The Coalition’s mission has not changed: to defeat ISIS [Daesh] in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and set conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability,” he said in a response to Anadolu ‘s question as to whether the US or the coalition would support Kurdish forces in Afrin where Turkish forces may launch opeartion soon. “We are not operating in Afrin. We are supporting our partners in defeating remaining ISIS pockets along the Middle Euphrates River Valley, specifically in areas north of Abu Kamal, on the eastern side of the Euphrates River.”
Meanwhile, the Turkish military deployed more military equipment including at least 10 battle tanks near the YGP-held area of Afrin and continued shelling YPG positions there.