ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A spokesperson for the US-armed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Monday said the Turkish army would not be allowed to enter Manbij and Qamishlo as its military operation in Afrin continues.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24 over the phone during a live broadcast, YPG spokesperson Brusk Heseke said the Kurdish forces would continue to defend Afrin and the surrounding regions.
“We have defended and will continue to defend Afrin and surrounding regions as we approach day 53 of the ongoing operation,” he said.
“The fighting has continued around the mountainous areas of Afrin and surrounding region,” Heseke added.
Regarding recent threats by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his army’s advance into other parts of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), the YPG spokesperson said Ankara would fail with its plans.
“We will not allow Turkey to expand its offensive beyond Afrin, despite their threats and warnings to invade Manbij and Qamishlo,” he affirmed.
“We have promised our people and martyrs that we will defend Afrin until the last drop of blood,” Heseke continued. “We are a force that believes in freedom.”
The Kurdish forces spokesperson also addressed the presence of Syrian regime forces who had been deployed to help defend Rojava from Turkey’s incursion.
“Whoever wishes to help defend Afrin and end the Turkish operation is welcome to join us. The Syrian regime forces are with us on the frontlines,” he noted.
Heseke also denounced “all rumors spread online, and in the media claiming our [YPG] forces are preventing civilians from fleeing the Afrin region.”
Turkey launched its offensive against the YPG on Jan. 20 claiming that the Kurdish forces, which it argues are an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), represent a “terrorist” threat to its southern borders.
Over 200 civilians have been killed as a result of the ongoing offensive with scores more injured.