Kurdish SDF redeploys hundreds of fighters from IS front to Afrin

PYD  PKK killed 25,000 Kurdish youths says academic

Kurdish-allied Syrian Arab militias are redeploying 1,700 fighters from frontlines with Islamic State to the Afrin region to help fend off a Turkish offensive against the northwestern region, their spokesperson told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We have taken out around 1,700 fighters.to defend Afrin against terrorism", said Abu Omar al-Edilbi, the spokesman for the militias, which have been fighting in eastern Syria as part of the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

In a written statement, Turkish General Staff said the soldier was wounded on March 1 during ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin.

The SDF alliance, with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia at its forefront, has not disclosed any numbers of fighters moving to Afrin in recent weeks.

Idlibi spoke to AFP in the football stadium in Raqqa, which the SDF recaptured from IS in October with help from the US-led global coalition.

USA and coalition officials have said they will not get involved in the Afrin fighting and expressed concern it would detract from the SDF's operations against IS.

The news comes as the Pentagon told RIA Novosti earlier in the day that units from the SDF had been relocated from the Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria, where the US-led coalition is carrying out its anti-Daesh* military campaign.


"Our people in Afrin are our priority".

Turkey began drawing its military to the Syrian border from late June 2017.

The interesting thing is that on March 5, the day when the Pentagon spokesman accused Turkey of distracting from the fight against ISIL, Turkish police detained 16 ISIL militants who had infiltrated from Iraq and Syria and were allegedly preparing attacks against USA targets.

The Observatory says more than 170 civilians have been killed since January 20.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy also told a news conference Ankara would tell US authorities during meetings on March 8-9 that it expected Washington to take concrete steps on retrieving weapons provided to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.

Since pro-regime fighters were deployed to help the Kurds in Afrin last month, some 58 of these "popular forces" have been killed, it said.

Syria's war has killed more than 340,000 people and spiralled into a complex conflict involving world powers since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

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