EghtesadOnline: Kurds have staged a protest rally in the Syrian town of Kobani to warn Turkey against a potential military incursion into the town.
The protest took place as reports that Turkish forces were preparing to enter Kobani were circulated by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), an armed Kurdish group, among residents on Saturday.
“We will not allow them to enter, we will stay here if necessary for days and months and… defend this land,” said one Kobani resident.
The YPG, which is part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition fighting Daesh, claimed that artillery had been fired at a village neighboring Kobani on Friday night, and that YPG positions have also been fired upon by Turkish forces, according to ISNA.
Back in January 2015, the Kurdish forces liberated Kobani from the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh, which had earlier also laid a siege to the town. As Daesh moved to the town, hundreds of Kurdish civilians took refuge in neighboring Turkey, where they were kept along the border.
Turkish forces deny that any of their military vehicles have entered Kobani; rather, they say their forces are protecting construction vehicles as they dig the foundation for a border wall adjacent to the city.
On August 27, however, Turkey deployed hundreds of troops and dozens of tanks across the border into the northern Syrian town of Jarablus, which is less than 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) from Kobani, in the province of Aleppo.
The Turkish forces then launched a joint military offensive with the SDF in Jarablus in what they said was an operation against both the YPG forces and Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
Turkey considers the armed Kurdish militants terrorists, too.
The Turkish-backed militants seized Jarablus from Daesh in the operation, which was backed by US and Turkish fighter jets.
Turkey says the Kurds must withdraw to the east of the nearby Euphrates River, presstv reported.
Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. Over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict, the United Nations (UN)’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates.
The UN has stopped officially tracking the death toll in Syria.