Residents of the city of Afrin in the region of northern Syria under Kurdish control held a rally to welcome the pro-Damascus Syrian military, sputniknews.com reported on February 23.
During the rally, which was held on the main square of Afrin, the participants reportedly waved Syrian flags and portraits of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad welcoming the arrival of pro-Damascus armed forces in the besieged region.
Participants of the rally insisted that “Afrin is an integral part of the territory of Syria,” and they swore to prevent their Motherland from being occupied by Turkish military and “terrorist groups.”
Recently, Afrin became the epicenter of a Turkish military operation. On January 20, Turkey began its military campaign against Kurdish militia members under the codename “Olive Branch” . The purpose of the operation is to counter the people’s self-defense units (Kurdish: Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, YPG),which Ankara perceives as a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Kurdish: PKK). Also, many countries, including Turkey and the EU countries, have recognized the Kurdistan Workers’ Party as a terrorist organization.
It should be noted that YPG is the core of the Syrian democratic forces, which represent the US-supported armed opposition in Syria.
Reportedly, when clashes between the Syrian government and the self-proclaimed Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, commonly known as Rojava, were rare, the Syrian government confined itself to official condemnation of any attempts to violate the integrity of the Syrian state. In February 2016, The Economist described the relations between Damascus and the Kurdish leaders as “a tacit alliance.”
Source: Rossa Primavera news agency