Turkish troops capture US weapons given to YPG

2018/03/645x344-1521484867141_1521495310.jpg
Read: 949     17:11     20 March 2018    
US weapons given to YPG terrorists in Syria, which were not retrieved from the group despite promises made to Ankara, were captured in Afrin by the Turkish military and FSA after the terrorists fled

arge amount of weaponry given to the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate by the U.S. was seized by the Turkish military on Sunday in the countryside of Afrin, as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) continued Operation Olive Branch in the province. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the U.S. did not retrieve the weapons given to the People's Protection Units (YPG) under the pretext of fighting Daesh, disregarding Ankara's repeated concerns that the weapons pose a threat against Turkey's national security; however, they were caught regardless due to the success of the operation in Afrin.

"Unfortunately, they did not retrieve them. It was left for Turkish troops to collect them. A significant amount of weapons given to the terror group by the U.S. were captured in Afrin," Bozdağ told reporters in Istanbul, referring to the weapons captured in a 12-room underground ammunition depot belonging to the YPG during detection operations by the TSK and the FSA in the village of Cuvek, in northwest Afrin. Instead of bombing the 150-meter-long depot, the FSA entered it and took over control without harming any of the civilians hiding inside, said the sources who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

A large amount of weaponry given to the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate by the U.S. was seized by the Turkish military on Sunday in the countryside of Afrin, as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) continued Operation Olive Branch in the province. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the U.S. did not retrieve the weapons given to the People's Protection Units (YPG) under the pretext of fighting Daesh, disregarding Ankara's repeated concerns that the weapons pose a threat against Turkey's national security; however, they were caught regardless due to the success of the operation in Afrin.

"Unfortunately, they did not retrieve them. It was left for Turkish troops to collect them. A significant amount of weapons given to the terror group by the U.S. were captured in Afrin," Bozdağ told reporters in Istanbul, referring to the weapons captured in a 12-room underground ammunition depot belonging to the YPG during detection operations by the TSK and the FSA in the village of Cuvek, in northwest Afrin. Instead of bombing the 150-meter-long depot, the FSA entered it and took over control without harming any of the civilians hiding inside, said the sources who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In the depot, thousands of U.S. and Russian-made anti-aircraft flak and DShK rounds, anti-tank rockets, artillery shells, multiple rocket launcher ammunition and various kinds of tank ammunition and U.S.-made TOW rockets were seized.

In early February, a Turkish tank was hit by the YPG as Turkish troops were advancing on Afrin. During the incident, six soldiers were killed. On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to eliminate the YPG from Syria's northwestern Afrin. On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Afrin was liberated from the terrorist group, including its town center.

"Now, we are going to collect the remaining weapons and eliminate the remaining terrorists," Bozdağ said. According to Turkish officials, Washington has provided 2,000 planes and 5,000 truckloads of weapons and ammunition to the terrorists, with the condition of using them in the fight against Daesh.

The U.S. partnership with the YPG has been a significant disagreement between Washington and Ankara, as Turkey argues that a terror group cannot be used to defeat another one. In addition, the weaponry given to the YPG, which Ankara says is directly linked to the PKK terrorist group, can be transferred to the PKK terrorists, and ultimately used against its citizens. The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

Still, the U.S. decided to supply truckloads of weapons to YPG in Syria, beginning with former President Barack Obama's term.

After Ankara's repeated concerns, the U.S. administration, under the term of President Donald Trump, said they would collect the weapons given to the YPG. Yet, the promise made to Ankara has not been kept, Turkish officials say.

Multibarrel rocket launchers and missile ramps, 80mm and 120mm mortars, MK19 bomb launchers, M4 Cabrine and M16 infantry rifles, U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, Humvee-type military vehicles, Cougar-type armored personnel carriers, unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles and FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, which the U.S. has repeatedly refused to sell to Turkey, are among the weapons and vehicles provided to the YPG terrorists, reports have previously said.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight. Turkey is carrying out Operation Olive Branch as it exercises its right of self-defense, within the jurisdictions of international laws, U.N. Security Council resolutions, No. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014) in particular, and the Article 51 of the U.N. charter, with full respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

Bozdağ also added that the town is now under control, however, there is still much to be done to ensure safety and security, as well as rebuilding. "We know that terrorists have set up many traps in the region before they fled," Bozdağ said, adding that the traps and the planted explosives must be cleared before any the reconstruction of the town can begin. After Afrin, Turkey has vowed to clear the remaining YPG-held areas in northern Syria, including areas east of the Euphrates River and Manbij.

Bozdağ also rejected the claims of the YPG terrorists, as reported in the media, that Afrin was left to the Turkish troops. He said they had fled the town "as they knew that they could not resist against the TSK." "If the terrorists had left in a planned strategic way, they would have taken their weapons and ammo," he explained.

Olive Branch may extend to northern Iraq

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that operations against the PKK and its affiliates could be conducted in northern Iraq as well. Erdoğan said that Ankara has been communicating its concerns over the PKK presence in northern Iraq, particularly in Sinjar province.

"If it [Iraq taking steps against the PKK presence within its territory] takes too long, then we can launch an "Olive Branch" there too," the president said.

Daily Sabah


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News Line

Turkish troops capture US weapons given to YPG

2018/03/645x344-1521484867141_1521495310.jpg
Read: 950     17:11     20 March 2018    
US weapons given to YPG terrorists in Syria, which were not retrieved from the group despite promises made to Ankara, were captured in Afrin by the Turkish military and FSA after the terrorists fled

arge amount of weaponry given to the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate by the U.S. was seized by the Turkish military on Sunday in the countryside of Afrin, as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) continued Operation Olive Branch in the province. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the U.S. did not retrieve the weapons given to the People's Protection Units (YPG) under the pretext of fighting Daesh, disregarding Ankara's repeated concerns that the weapons pose a threat against Turkey's national security; however, they were caught regardless due to the success of the operation in Afrin.

"Unfortunately, they did not retrieve them. It was left for Turkish troops to collect them. A significant amount of weapons given to the terror group by the U.S. were captured in Afrin," Bozdağ told reporters in Istanbul, referring to the weapons captured in a 12-room underground ammunition depot belonging to the YPG during detection operations by the TSK and the FSA in the village of Cuvek, in northwest Afrin. Instead of bombing the 150-meter-long depot, the FSA entered it and took over control without harming any of the civilians hiding inside, said the sources who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

A large amount of weaponry given to the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate by the U.S. was seized by the Turkish military on Sunday in the countryside of Afrin, as the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) continued Operation Olive Branch in the province. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the U.S. did not retrieve the weapons given to the People's Protection Units (YPG) under the pretext of fighting Daesh, disregarding Ankara's repeated concerns that the weapons pose a threat against Turkey's national security; however, they were caught regardless due to the success of the operation in Afrin.

"Unfortunately, they did not retrieve them. It was left for Turkish troops to collect them. A significant amount of weapons given to the terror group by the U.S. were captured in Afrin," Bozdağ told reporters in Istanbul, referring to the weapons captured in a 12-room underground ammunition depot belonging to the YPG during detection operations by the TSK and the FSA in the village of Cuvek, in northwest Afrin. Instead of bombing the 150-meter-long depot, the FSA entered it and took over control without harming any of the civilians hiding inside, said the sources who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In the depot, thousands of U.S. and Russian-made anti-aircraft flak and DShK rounds, anti-tank rockets, artillery shells, multiple rocket launcher ammunition and various kinds of tank ammunition and U.S.-made TOW rockets were seized.

In early February, a Turkish tank was hit by the YPG as Turkish troops were advancing on Afrin. During the incident, six soldiers were killed. On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to eliminate the YPG from Syria's northwestern Afrin. On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Afrin was liberated from the terrorist group, including its town center.

"Now, we are going to collect the remaining weapons and eliminate the remaining terrorists," Bozdağ said. According to Turkish officials, Washington has provided 2,000 planes and 5,000 truckloads of weapons and ammunition to the terrorists, with the condition of using them in the fight against Daesh.

The U.S. partnership with the YPG has been a significant disagreement between Washington and Ankara, as Turkey argues that a terror group cannot be used to defeat another one. In addition, the weaponry given to the YPG, which Ankara says is directly linked to the PKK terrorist group, can be transferred to the PKK terrorists, and ultimately used against its citizens. The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.

Still, the U.S. decided to supply truckloads of weapons to YPG in Syria, beginning with former President Barack Obama's term.

After Ankara's repeated concerns, the U.S. administration, under the term of President Donald Trump, said they would collect the weapons given to the YPG. Yet, the promise made to Ankara has not been kept, Turkish officials say.

Multibarrel rocket launchers and missile ramps, 80mm and 120mm mortars, MK19 bomb launchers, M4 Cabrine and M16 infantry rifles, U.S.-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, Humvee-type military vehicles, Cougar-type armored personnel carriers, unmanned aerial surveillance vehicles and FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, which the U.S. has repeatedly refused to sell to Turkey, are among the weapons and vehicles provided to the YPG terrorists, reports have previously said.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight. Turkey is carrying out Operation Olive Branch as it exercises its right of self-defense, within the jurisdictions of international laws, U.N. Security Council resolutions, No. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014) in particular, and the Article 51 of the U.N. charter, with full respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

Bozdağ also added that the town is now under control, however, there is still much to be done to ensure safety and security, as well as rebuilding. "We know that terrorists have set up many traps in the region before they fled," Bozdağ said, adding that the traps and the planted explosives must be cleared before any the reconstruction of the town can begin. After Afrin, Turkey has vowed to clear the remaining YPG-held areas in northern Syria, including areas east of the Euphrates River and Manbij.

Bozdağ also rejected the claims of the YPG terrorists, as reported in the media, that Afrin was left to the Turkish troops. He said they had fled the town "as they knew that they could not resist against the TSK." "If the terrorists had left in a planned strategic way, they would have taken their weapons and ammo," he explained.

Olive Branch may extend to northern Iraq

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that operations against the PKK and its affiliates could be conducted in northern Iraq as well. Erdoğan said that Ankara has been communicating its concerns over the PKK presence in northern Iraq, particularly in Sinjar province.

"If it [Iraq taking steps against the PKK presence within its territory] takes too long, then we can launch an "Olive Branch" there too," the president said.

Daily Sabah


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