On July 7, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said that the Turkish Armed Forces violated all international laws and the UNSC resolutions while invading some areas on the Syrian territory and conducting military operations there.
“As part of the preparation for an operation in Afrin, Turkey is building its military bases in the region. According to our information, over the past two weeks, Turkey has created military bases in the Mare, Azaz, and Tel Cibrin districts adjacent to Afrin. The Turkish military, heavy weapons and equipment were deployed there. Earlier, the Turkish Armed Forces placed its bases near Al Bab, Jarabulus, Sawran and Akhtarin,” Hiddo said.
According to Hiddo, Turkey gradually increases its military presence in the war-torn country and the Turkish forces conduct regular shelling of the territory near Afrin.
Afrin is located in the province of Aleppo and belongs to the de facto autonomous region of Rojava, proclaimed by the Kurds in the north of Syria. Turkey has repeatedly bombed Kurd positions and hideaways in northern Syria and considers the Syrian Kurdish associations to be a wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), outlawed in the country.
US air force commander in Ankara for Syria talks
Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein held talks in Ankara with his Turkish counterparts in an unannounced visit, sources told daily Hürriyet on July 12.
Goldfein met with Commander of the Turkish Air Force Abidin Ünal and other senior military officials in order to discuss ongoing military cooperation in Syria as part of international efforts to defeat the Islamic State, Hürriyet Daily News reported.
The visit comes as Turkey’s criticisms of the U.S. intensify due to the latter’s decision to ally with the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the report said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu over the weekend in a bid to rebuild trust between the two NATO allies, it added.
Goldfein’s visit comes as ideas to establish no-fly zones over some parts of Syrian airspace in a bid to strengthen a fragile ceasefire between the Syria and the militant groups.