January 22, 2018
Turkish military began “Operation Olive Branch” on Saturday in Syria’s Afrin to eradicate the YPG that it sees as a security threat on its borders.
Key points about the operation in Afrin was summarized by TRTWORLD.
Turkey has been facing a terrorist incursion called PKK for over 30 years. Few years ago, a new an bigger and even more widespread threat has surfaced called YPG.
THE MILITARY WING OF THE PYD
YPG, with the help of US military, began its fight against Daesh in 2014. US said that Turkey should concentrate on attacking Daesh. But Turkey sees the YPG build up as a greater long term threat because of YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. YPG is the military wing of the PYD who is a leftist Syrian Kurdish political party founded in 2003. Reports indicate that they have substansive ties to the PKK.
YPG CONTROLS 65 PERCENT OF TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER
In order to fight Daesh, also known as ISIS, in Syria, a few years ago the US armed and trained a group of mostly Kurdish rebels going by YPG who later changed their name to SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). SDF moved to areas where Daesh had been controlling and they decided to stay and holed up in cities like Afrin, Manbij.
YPG controls a 65 percent of Turkish-Syrian border and this is why Turkey launched an operation. Turkey’s priority was to prevent a solid land under control of YPG on the border, since it would threaten Turkey’s connection with the Arab world and Syrian Turkmen.