News ID: 210264
Published: 0533 GMT February 20, 2018

Kurdish forces in Syria deny reaching agreement with Damascus over Afrin support

Kurdish forces in Syria deny reaching agreement with Damascus over Afrin support
Turkish-backed militants fire from the town of Salwah, less than 10 kilometers from the Syria-Turkey border, towards Kurdish forces from the People's Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin region, on February 19, 2018. (AFP)

The US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG) have denied reaching an agreement with Damascus over Syrian troops being deployed to Afrin to fend off a Turkish offensive.

"There is no agreement. There is only a call from us for the Syrian army to come in and protect the borders," YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud was quoted by Reuters as saying on Monday, reported.

The announcement came several hours after Syria's official SANA news agency reported that government-backed “popular forces will arrive in Afrin in the next few hours to support the steadfastness of its people in confronting the aggression which Turkish regime forces have launched on the region.”

According to senior Kurdish official on Sunday, an agreement was reached with the Syrian government over troops entering Afrin to help with repelling Turkish forces.

Badran Jia Kurd told reporters that government forces would be deployed on several border locations and could enter the region over the next few days.

Turkey has been waging ‘Operation Olive Branch’ against Syria’s Afrin region since January 20 in a bid to eliminate the US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG), which forms the backbone of the SDF. The Turkish government views the YPG as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The latter has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

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