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Cavusoglu: ‘Nobody can stop’ Turkish forces in Afrin

19 February 2018, 7:18:00

The Turkish foreign minister has said that Syrian forces cannot stop its army's advances in Afrin, in response to reports that the Syrian regime forces will fight alongside Kurdish YPG fighters in the border town.

Speaking at a press conference in the Jordanian capital, Amman, Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Turkey welcomed the entry of Syrian forces into Afrin if it was to confront fighters belonging to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

"If so, there is no problem. However, if they are entering [Afrin] to protect YPG/PKK, nobody can stop the Turkish army," he added, referring to the armed Syrian Kurdish group YPG, which controls Afrin, and banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) active in Turkey.

Ankara considers the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), active in Syria, and its armed wing YPG, to be "terrorist groups" with ties to the PKK, which has waged a bloody armed rebellion for decades in southeast Turkey.

The PKK has been designated as a "terrorist" group by the United States, the European Union and Turkey.

"We have always expressed our support for Syria's territorial integrity … We are one of the countries with the utmost support for it," Cavusoglu said.

The YPG fighters claimed earlier in the day that they had reached a deal to allow regime troops to enter Afrin in the northwestern part of the border town.

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