Afrin: a symptom of Syria's complex conflict

Free Syrian Army fighters near Afrin
Free Syrian Army fighters near Afrin Copyright REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi/File Photo
By Euronews
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As pro-Syrian government forces enter Afrin, where Turkey has launched an offensive, there's a risk of a new confrontation


The unfolding events in Syria are the stark symptom of a complex situation.

The Kurdish enclave of Afrin now a focus, as Turkish troops, Kurdish fighters, Syrian rebels, the country's army and others compete on the messy northern battlefront.

Turkey says it wants to clear out YPG members, which are regarded as a terrorist group and a security threat along its border.

Frenchman Maxime Barrat, 28, fought with the YPG in Syria. In Brussels, he told Euronews: "Turkey is not using only its troops, but they are also using those who were used by Daesh (fighters). The FSA, Al Nusra, terrorist groups linked to Daesh. We can't accept these groups when we see what they're doing on the ground, we can't accept them."

But the Brussels Office Representative of Turkey's AK Party, dismisses the accusation that Daesh-linked fighters have been used.

"Turkey is one of the most attacked countries by Daesh. Thats why we strongly refute it," Ruhi Açıkgöz told Euronews.

"Turkey's border is also Europe's border. We want to protect our borders. We are taking measures against Daesh, PKK and all terrorist organisations."

With pro-Syrian government forces entering Afrin, there's a risk of a new confrontation - pitting the Turkish army and its allies directly against them. And that would only further complicate what's happening on the ground.

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