Turkey summons top USA envoy over Syrian Kurds

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Iran has its own strategic goals in "finishing off" what remains from the opposition forces in Idlib.

The YPG is the main element in a force that Washington has assisted with training, weapons, air support and help from ground advisers in the battle against Islamic State.

Turkey has accused the Syrian government of using the presence of the Nusra Front, which now fights under the banner of the Tahrir al-Sham alliance, as an excuse to attack civilians and moderate opposition groups.

Ankara has therefore called on Russian Federation and Iran, and rightly so, to cease and desist from their active and open aggression and military involvement in the fighting in the Idlib province and summoned their ambassadors in Ankara for this goal. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told journalists, "Russia and Iran must fulfill their obligations and stop the pro-Assad offensive in Idlib province".

The latest push by the army and its allies has alarmed Turkey which has been deploying forces inside northern Idlib and setting up bases which it says are part of agreements with Iran and Russian Federation over a de-escalation zone in Idlib.

On Jan. 10, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the main disagreements between Turkey and the U.S. are related to the fact that Washington is arming the Syrian wings of the PKK - PYD and YPG - and has not yet fulfilled Ankara's demand on extradition of the leader of FETO terrorist organization.

Assad regime Daesh target Syria’s Idlib Local source

Ankara believes YPG fighters are linked with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) separatists inside Turkey, responsible for waging armed campaign since 1984 causing death to more than 40,000 people.

The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the leading Kurdish party in northern Syria, where the majority of the country's Kurdish population was concentrated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also in the past called the United States arming of the YPG "a mistake". Now, the Turkish military and allied forces may go for Afrin with Russia's tacit consent (RIA Novosti, January 11, 2018).

Meanwhile, Syrian government forces, backed by warplanes and attack helicopters, are closing in on the strategic Abu al-Duhur air base in the eastern Idlib countryside.

Rebels launched a counter-attack on Thursday.

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