Turkey's security council supports expansion of Syria mission to Aleppo, Afrin

Turkey said it could expand its military mission in Syria to two other provinces, potentially bringing its forces into a confrontation with U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG militants
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 22:44

The National Security Council of Turkey finds it necessary to expand the current "surveillance mission" in the de-escalation zone in Syria's Idlib province to the western part of Aleppo province and the Afrin district, the council said in a statement following a meeting on Tuesday.

Turkish troops have operated an "observation mission" in the terrorist-held territory in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, under a deal with Russia and Iran.

"It seems that the surveillance mission, which continues successfully in Idlib, can ensure peace and security in the western part of the province of Aleppo and the outskirts of Afrin as well...Turkey will take all necessary measures to safeguard security on its borders," the statement said.

Afrin is currently controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers a terrorist organisation associated with the armed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the country.

Earlier this month, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey needed to clear the Afrin region of northwest Syria of YPG militants as the military operation in Idlib province is largely complete.