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Kurdish-Run Afrin Urges Damascus to Deploy Troops Along Turkish Border - Reports

© AFP 2023 / George OURFALIANThe main entrance to the city of Afrin, along Syria's northern border with Turkey
The main entrance to the city of Afrin, along Syria's northern border with Turkey - Sputnik International
Earlier on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara doesn't plan to attack Syrian government forces during its military operation in the Afrin region, which is entering its sixth day.

"We call on the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign obligations towards Afrin and protect its borders with Turkey from attacks of the Turkish occupier … and deploy its Syrian Armed Forces to secure the borders of the Afrin area," the authorities of Afrin, a predominantly Kurdish region in the north of Syria, said, according to Reuters.

The news comes as Cavusoglu issued a statement that US President Donald Trump reassured his Turkish counterpart that the US would stop arms supplies to Kurdish armed groups in Syria, considered to be terrorists by Ankara.

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The Turkish military forces in Afrin have been fighting against militant groups, including the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). The decision to launch the offensive was made after the US announced its plans to establish a border force in Syria that would include units from the Kurdish military factions.

Damascus has condemned Turkey's operation, calling it a violation of the country's sovereignty. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has blasted the offensive, saying it was part of Ankara's policies "pursued by the Turkish regime since the first day of the Syrian crisis and which is based for the most part on supporting terrorism and terrorist groups under different names."

READ MORE: Afrin Op Paves the Way for the New Round of War in Syria – Syrian Official

However, Turkish officials said that Damascus and Ankara, as well as opposition groups backed by Turkey, support Syria's territorial integrity and sovereignty. Cavusoglu has also noted that Ankara believed that "the Syrian regime will not cooperate with terrorists," referring to the Kurdish armed militants.

Meanwhile, the casualties count in the conflict continues to grow. Reports on the figures are conflicting: while Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that over 300 terrorists were killed, a YPG representative told Sputnik that no more than 20 Kurdish troops had died. There are also conflicting reports on civilian casualties, with dozens of people believed to have been killed.

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