US calls on Turkey not to take action in Syria’s Afrin
WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
The U.S. State Department on Jan. 18 urged Turkey not to take any action in northern Syria, calling on Ankara to remain focused on the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
At a news briefing, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. wanted Turkey to abstain from violence in the northwestern city of Afrin.
“We would call [...] on the Turks to not take any actions of that sort,” Nauert said.
“We don’t want them to engage in violence but we want them to keep focused on ISIS,” she said, using another acronym for ISIL.
On Jan. 14, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the Turkish army will launch a military operation into Afrin, a region bordering Turkey’s Hatay and Kilis provinces controlled by the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Erdoğan said the Afrin operation would be an extension of the seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which ended in March 17 and aimed to fight against ISIL and curb the YPG in the area.