Italy: Turkish operations in Afrin ‘do not compromise US position’ — ME expert Joshua Landis

Head of the University of Oklahoma's the Centre for Middle East Studies Joshua Landis said that 'Operation Olive Branch' that the Turkish military launched in the dominantly Kurdish Afrin region in Syria on Saturday «is going to inflame the Kurds who will see America having let them down.» Speaking in an interview from the Italian city of Arezzo, Landis said that «Russia stood aside and had... Еще three hundred troops in Afrin. They seem to have largely left,» adding that «Russia has made an announcement that it is standing by and looking with disapproval at this, but clearly Russia is not in a position to do anything.» Landis also stressed that since «Afrin is a small enclave that is separated by quite a bit of Arab territory from the main state land that United States is building up where the US forces are,» then the ongoing military operations «does not really compromise America's position.» Turkish war planes have launched airstrikes on Kurdish positions in Afrin at 14:00 GMT, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the launch of the military operation dubbed 'Olive Branch'. The President also declared that the next destination for the Turkish forces would be Syria's Manbij. Turkey views the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is active in northern Syria, as extension of the banned militant group Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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