Thursday, March 15, 2018

Turkey Set to Besiege Afrin City

By Elizabeth Teoman

Turkey has set conditions to besiege Syrian Kurdish-controlled Afrin City in northwest Syria. Turkey will use its military position as leverage in tripartite negotiations with Russia and Iran in Astana, Kazakhstan on March 16, 2018. Turkish forces and Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces seized positions that enable them to sever the last ground line of communication to Afrin by March 15. The advance has driven tens of thousands of civilians toward terrain held by the Bashar al Assad regime and its allies. Turkey’s likely primary goal in the Astana negotiations is to reach an agreement with Russia and Iran over the future of Afrin and other Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)-held areas north of Aleppo City.