Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Turkey, US issue tit-for-tat travel warnings

Turkey, US issue tit-for-tat travel warnings

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signalled a possible military operation on Syria's Afrin, Manbij "if terroristst do not pull out in one week" on January 13.

Turkish security forces on Saturday hit several PKK/PYD targets in the Afrin district of Syria's Aleppo province to prevent a "terror corridor" from forming along Turkey's borders.

Turkish forces were poised to move into Idlib province as monitors, as part of a deal with Russian Federation and Iran to create de-escalation zones in Syria.

Ankara fears these territories could be used as a base for fighters in the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to attack troops in Turkey.

But the few observation posts that the Turkish army has established are close to the dividing line between Arab rebel-held land and the Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin.

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Rojhat Roj, the YPG spokesman in Afrin, told Reuters the shelling was carried out by Turkish forces in Dar Taizaah and Qalat Seman - areas where he said Turkish forces had deployed as part of the agreement with Russian Federation and Iran.

Erdoğan said the YPG is trying to establish a "terror corridor" on Turkey's southern border.

Erdogan said that conflict was far from settled.

Turkey has warned its citizens against travel to the United States, saying Turks face the risk of arbitrary arrest and should take precautions if they do decide to travel.

The Afrin operation follows Turkey's successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield, which ended last March. "With the İdlib operation, we are collapsing the western wing", Erdogan said on Saturday, according to Reuters.

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He also said Turkey could drive YPG forces out of Manbij.

Turkey has been wary of the advance of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northern Syria against IS.

A delegation from the U.S. Department of State has reportedly visited areas held by the PKK/PYD terrorist group in northern Syria.

Ties between Ankara and Washington, both North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and members of the coalition against Islamic State, have been strained by the U.S. arrest and conviction of a Turkish banker in an Iran sanctions-busting case, a trial Turkey has dismissed as politically motivated. "We know they sent 2,000 planes full of weapons".

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