Syria: Assad's troops in Afrin's Kurdish enclave, the Turks bomb and repel them

Members of militias loyal to the government of Damascus entered the city today to oppose the Turkish advance, but were quickly rejected by the Ankara artillery. Erdogan warns: Turkey will not allow other "wrong steps of this kind". Meanwhile, Ghouta continues to live a siege by the Syrian regime, which has lasted since 2013: over 400 thousand civilians trapped without food or medicine, since Sunday a rain of bombs has killed at least 60 children.

Members of militias loyal to the government of Damascus entered today in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin to oppose the Turkish advance, but were quickly rejected by the Ankara artillery, as confirmed by President Erdogan suggesting that the combatants, on board a dozen means, they would have acted alone. Then he warned that Turkey will not allow other "wrong steps like this" in the future, and who will make them "pay a high price". Erdogan, speaking at the press conference, said that the attempt to enter the wire-Assad in Afrin is a " closed chapter , for now". Images from Lebanese TV al-Mayadeen had shown means with Syrian flags, militia on board and loads of weapons, as they entered the area, the subject of a heavy offensive by Ankara started on 20 January. Over the weekend, rumors were leaked about an agreement that would be reached between Damascus and Kurdish militia for the deployment of units of pro-Assad forces in Afrin. Afrin and the risk of a new war On 20 January Ankara launched an air and ground operation to support Syrian rebels against the Kurdish People's Defense Units (JPG) in the Afrin region. Turkey considers the Ypg to be a Syrian offshoot of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK), which was declared outlaws in 1984. President Erdogan, speaking today before Parliament, showed optimism while updating the list of Ankara soldiers fallen in battle (now there are 32) and declared that the operation "Olive branch" goes "as planned", having occupied "300 square kilometers in the region". However, many analysts judge Ankara's progress very slow and tiring. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring, over the last month, 238 fighters - including Turkish soldiers and Syrian rebels - were killed, along with 197 Ypg fighters and 94 civilians. Ankara has always denied the presence of civilian casualties: Erdogan justified the slowness of the offensive "in order not to endanger civilians". The military intervention of Ankara is subjecting to an unsustainable effort, however, the already weakened relations not only with the United States but also with Russia, a key ally of Damascus. The decision by Damascus could further deteriorate the Ankara-Moscow relations Erdogan had already warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that any support from the Syrian regime at Ypg will "have consequences". And the announced siege is part of Ankara's preventive strategy. "In the next few days the center of Afrin will be quickly surrounded, support for the city and the region from outside will be interrupted and the terrorist group (YPG) will no longer have the opportunity to negotiate with anyone", the Turkish president announced today . Moscow, for its part, seems to want to agree with the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, who is unlikely to move without a free estimate of Russia, and fears a Turkish presence in the Middle Eastern country: "We have repeatedly stated - said the Foreign Ministry, Tension between Ankara and Washington The operation "Olive branch" has also put a strain on the already difficult links between Ankara and Washington, which had supported the Ypg Kurdish fighters in its fight against the jihadists of the Islamic State in Syria. The United States has called on Turkey to show moderation, warning that the offensive risks diluting the fight against terrorists. In response, Erdogan threatened to extend the offensive to the city of Manbij held by the YPG. In an attempt to ease the tensions with Washington's NATO ally, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson paid a visit to Ankara last week during which he held a lengthy conversation with Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. They had come out with the intention of working "together" The last strong anti-Assad in Ghouta The Syrian regime, supported by the Russians, has put in place the "Aleppo strategy" to recover Ghouta, the last rebel stronghold, east of Damascus. 400 thousand civilians are besieged here: they have neither food nor medicine and, in the last two days, the bombings have caused at least 200 deaths, including 60 children. Monday was "one of the worst days in the history of the current crisis," Ghouta's doctor told AFP. Unicef ​​speaks of "bloodbath" and spreads a blank statement to indicate that, to such horror, there are no words. The stories of the witnesses are shocking. Hundreds of injured are flocking to makeshift hospitals in the area. Due to lack of space the wounded are treated on the floor. According to the Syrian daily Al-Watan, close to the regime, targeted air strikes "are a prelude to the great operation (overland) that can start at any time". On 5 February, the army unleashed an unprecedented five-day air campaign on the Ghouta, killing about 250 civilians and injuring hundreds. Since then he has placed reinforcements around the former oasis under siege. The regime intends to resume the stronghold to put an end to missile launches by the rebels on the capital. In his statement, the opposition coalition accused Russia, an ally of the regime, of seeking "

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