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Putin, Erdogan Discuss Military Coordination In Syria

10 February 2018, 01:40 | Darnell Patrick

Putin, Erdogan Discuss Military Coordination In Syria

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads to the Middle East as Syrian and Russian forces step up strikes such as the reported regime attacks which left Syrian civilians fleeing in the rebel-held town of Jisreen in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region

There have been air strikes on towns across the Eastern Ghouta, including Douma where an entire building was brought down, a local witness said. A stronghold of Islamic State militants until late a year ago, the province also was the group's main source of oil revenue.

Numerous opposition members have been fighting alongside Turkey since 2016 when Turkish forces first pushed into northern Syria to drive back IS and contain Kurdish expansion.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" to clear YPG militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists in Syria, said the Khusham area, near one of the province's largest oil fields, saw intense clashes with heavy weaponry late Wednesday between pro-Assad forces and the SDF.

Erdogan has been a staunch opponent of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad since the advent of the Syria War, which has left both Ankara and Damascus at odds on nearly every issue inside the country.

"The current situation can be summed up like this: the United States attempts to strengthen its position in the region by using Daesh and PKK to further its interests while countries like Russia, Turkey and Iran work to prevent it", Metiner said.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Italian La Stampa newspaper in an interview that he still expects the European Union to eventually admit Turkey as a full member, stressing that "we won't accept any other solution".

"Why are you staying there (in Manbij)?" "We will come to return the lands to their real owners".

"I'm very confident in the (Syrian Democratic Forces) leadership", Funk said, referring to the US -backed Syrian forces mostly made up the YPG. "After use, they will be thrown away". Asked whether that's reason enough to put them into prison, she responded: "As the vice chair of AK party in charge of human rights, I'm a living example of how human rights has excelled during the time of [the] party". USA -backed Kurdish-led forces have been fighting for control of Deir el-Zour with rival Russian-backed Syrian troops that are reinforced by Iranian-supported militias.

At the same time, it will seek to reassure the Syrian Kurds that it will work with Turkey to prevent any Turkish incursions or military operations in pockets under PYD control, boosting U.S. power in this area and pro-US and anti-Iran and anti-Al-Assad and anti-IS forces.

But Funk downplayed the significance of the attacks, describing them as just "harassing".



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