According to some Kurdish sources, Russia has informed the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Afrin that it has to choose between a Turkish invasion of in the area and the handover of the area to the Syrian government. The source also claimed that Russia had been asked by the PYD to protect it from any Turkish intervention, including preventing Iranian or American troops from entering the area.
The allegaitions have still not been confirmed or commented by any PYD or Russian official sources.
The PYD military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), is a core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operating in southeastern Syria.
According to the Russian daily UTRO, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu allegedly told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting on July 2 in Turkey that the Kremlin has agreed to a Turkish military operation against the PYD party in Afrin.
Sipan Hamo, commander of the YPG, said that the US-led coalition has 7 bases in the areas controlled by the SDF east of the Euphrates, including two air bases in Al-Hasakah, an air base in Qamishli, two other air bases in Al-Malikiya, an airport in a Tal Abiad on the Turkish border and a center in Manbij.
“Launching the Turkey’s military operation in Afrin in Aleppo countryside will negatively affect the battle for the liberation of Raqqa from ISIS,” Hamo said. “Russia and the Syrian regime, which says that it is a state and safeguard the borders and sovereignty, leave Turkey to incursion and intervention and bomb Aleppo countryside without any clear position. It’s clear that there is collusion from under the table between the three parties.”
As Turkey continues to mobilize its troops at the Syrian-Turkish border north of Afrin, thousands of PYD supporters demonstrated in Afrin city against the expected Turkish operation. It’s believed that the aggressive behavior of the YPG and the SDF over the past months against all other Syrian parties has given Turkey additional opportunities to launch the military operation against Kurdish militias in northern Aleppo.