Turkey shells targets in Syria, predicts swift campaign against US-backed Kurds

US State Secretary Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organisation and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decades-old insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

Turkey meanwhile invaded Syria and is establishing bases there, specifically in Idlib province (which puts them in close proximity to our important Armenian community in Haleb/Aleppo)- Ankara announced last fall it would build eight of them.

The Syrian Kurdish militia - known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG -called Moscow "Turkey's bloody accomplice in the killing of civilians in the region".

Mattis was quick to both praise the YPG efforts against ISIS, and to acknowledge Turkey's concerns.

The United States has recently been working with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces to create a border security force with inaugural training classes already said to have started.

The second issue, Mogherini said, was that the offensive "can undermine seriously the resumption of talks in Geneva, which is what we believe could really bring sustainable peace and security for Syria".

"We must be sure that humanitarian access is guaranteed and that the population does not suffer", she said.

His remarks came amid Turkey's ongoing military operation against terror groups in the Afrin region.

The United States has told Turkey "let us see if we can work with you to create the kind of security zone you might need", Tillerson said, according to a reporter traveling with him to Paris.

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Sener Levent said his newspaper Afrika won't be silenced in calling out Turkey's policies either in the breakaway north of ethnically-split Cyprus or elsewhere.

State Department officials say Tillerson is set to make remarks in Paris on Syria and chemical weapons.

The Syrian government, its ally Iran and Egypt have all condemned Turkey's offensive.

"We discussed this with our Russian friends, we have an agreement with them, and we also discussed it with other coalition forces and the United States". The Associated Press reported that had rallied almost 10,000 Syrian opposition fighters for the operation.

Turkish police have detained 24 people for "spreading terrorist propaganda" on social media related to Ankara's military operation against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, and the capital city's governor has banned all protests.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Turkish tanks entered northern Syria in an offensive targeting Kurdish fighters How have the key players reacted?

On Monday Turkish soldiers and their Syrian allies launch a new attack on the Kurdish militia from Azaz, about 20 kilometres to the east of Afrin.

But Ankara has denied inflicting civilian casualties, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accusing the YPG of sending out "nonsense propaganda and baseless lies".

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