World, Middle East

600 'Kurdish Hawks' fighters to join Afrin operation

Part of Free Syrian Army, Kurdish Hawks Brigade will be deployed to Afrin on Monday, says commander

25.02.2018 - Update : 26.02.2018
600 'Kurdish Hawks' fighters to join Afrin operation

By Adham Kako and Omer Koparan

AZEZ, Syria

The Kurdish Hawks Brigade, part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), will join Turkey's Operation Olive Branch launched against YPG/PKK and Daesh terror organizations in Afrin, northwestern Syria, a brigade commander said Sunday.

The brigade, which was formed by the Hamza Division, includes 400 Kurdish fighters from Azaz and 200 Arab elements, also known as 'red berets'.

Fighters of the brigade will be deployed to Afrin on Monday, said Comm. Hassan Abdullah Kulli.

"God willing, we will liberate our people in Afrin from PKK oppression," Kulli said.

'Black berets' of the Hamza Division are also involved in the ongoing operation in the region.

According to Turkish General Staff, Operation Olive Branch, launched on Jan. 20, aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

Both the military and Turkish authorities have repeatedly said that the operation targets only terrorist elements and "utmost importance" is being given to not harm any civilians.

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight. 

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