Turkey FM: Turkey and Iraq Will Carry Out Joint Operations Against Kurds

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The US forces in Manbij have recently resisted Turkey's calls for them to leave the area.

Last month, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said Ankara's attack on Afrin was distracting the Kurds from defeating the remaining pockets of IS.

Erdogan said Afrin will be cleared of terrorists exactly like Jarabulus city in Syria's Aleppo was cleared during Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in late August in 2016 and ended in March 2017.

The joint operation with Iraqi army may start after the elections in Iraq scheduled for May 12.

The PKK is a threat posed not only to Baghdad but also to the Iraqi Kurdish administration in the north of the country, he added.

Damascus has firmly condemned the operation as an assault on Syria's sovereignty.

Turkey has always been urging Iraqi government to take action against the PKK presence in northern Iraq, but for several years no Iraqi government did so.

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Turkish Army attacks in the Afrín Syrian enclave, in the northern province of Aleppo, left more than 800 dead and wounded, majority children and women, medical sources reported.

Turkey's military and its rebel allies have besieged the northern Syrian town of Afrin and were nearing its town centre, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, in what would mark a major advance in Turkey's military operation.

Turkey frequently launches cross-border operations into the northern Iraq in pursuit of militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, who maintain bases there.

Turkey sees the YPG as a terror group for its ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group by Turkey, the USA and the European Union.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

Turkey expects that the United States of America stops deploying Kurdish militants from Manbij to Afrin, Turkish president's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has announced on March 7, Al Jazeera reports.