ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The People’s Protection Units (YPG) Press Office has denied involvement in attacks by other groups in Afrin, blaming the Turkish intelligence instead.
In a statement on Wednesday, the YPG described the recent increase in Afrin attacks as “inhumane crimes committed by the occupying Turkish army and its terrorist allies.”
“Various armed groups operating under different names are conducting military operations in Afrin and promoting their actions on social media and websites,” the statement said.
“The methods applied in these types of attacks” link some of these groups “to Turkish secret services,” it added.
“For these reasons, we confirm the right of the people of Afrin and our [YPG] fighters to carry out military operations by legitimate means to expel the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries from our territory.”
The statement comes after an explosion in Afrin killed three civilians on Tuesday.
Moreover, on June 27, a twin bombing targeted Afrin’s city center, which killed nine people, injuring several others.
A new obscure Afrin Falcons group claimed responsibility for the June attack on their Facebook page.
Another mysterious armed group calling itself the Wrath of Olive Operations Room last week warned the remaining population of Afrin, occupied by Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebel groups since March, of the start of a new battle.
“To our people in all areas of Afrin, we hope you do not approach the headquarters and place of the mercenaries, to save your lives. Because from now on we enter a new phase of struggle and resistance,” the unknown group said.
“We call on the mercenaries to get out of Afrin or else they will be buried under soil.”
The group has published several gruesome videos of assassinating Turkish-backed Islamist militants and its allies. For instance, the group had killed three local Kurds on charges of “treason, espionage, and working with Turkey.”
Nicholas A. Heras, a Middle East security analyst at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security, told Kurdistan 24 the YPG “is under pressure from the United States to disassociate itself from the most controversial assassinations in Afrin.”
“Put bluntly, the US does not want to give the appearance that its closest partner in Syria is running death squads,” Heras added. “The YPG was advised that it has an image problem and that it needs to clean it up quickly.”
The YPG Press office said its forces are not involved in the operations of other groups such as the Afrin Falcons, or the Wrath of the Olive Operations Room.
The Press Office reiterated that all operations related to its units are published as press releases on its official website.
“Any other actions that are shared on social media in our name have no relation to us.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany