By Elena Teslova
MOSCOW (AA) - Russia “understands” Turkey’s concerns and withdrew its troops from Syria’s northwestern Afrin Region, paving the way for Turkish military to launch “Operation Olive Branch”.
“Moscow always considers Turkey’s concerns about the threats from Syrian groups affiliated with PKK,” Amur Gadzhiev, director of the Moscow-based center for modern Turkish studies, told Anadolu Agency.
Gadzhiev pointed out that Russia sent invitations for the Syrian National Dialogue Congress only to members of the Kurds National Council and not to PYD/PKK.
Russia called for keeping the scope of the operation limited because it can transform from the operation against PKK/PYD into full-fledged conflict, he noted.
“If it happens and the operation against PKK/PYD turns into full-fledged Turkish-Kurdish conflict, it will be fraught with bloody consequences and involvement of Kurds National Council which, unlike the PYD, continues to consider Damascus as a legitimate center of the Syrian state”, said Gadzhiev.
Vladimir Evseev, a military expert and deputy director of the CIS Institute, said separation of Kurds and creation of independent Kurdish state is “impossible”.
“What will they get by proclaiming their own state? They are surrounded by the states, which consider such a development as a threat to their national security and they will defend it toughly by all means”, Evseev said.
Konstantin Truevtsev, senior researcher at Institute of Oriental studies, believed the U.S. is supporting Kurdish separatist elements in Syria.
"The U.S. is losing Turkey... If Turkey will expand the operation to Manbij, Turkey will come into direct conflict with the U.S. and consequently Turkey will suffer colossal pressure. The U.S. will sustain image loss, but compensate it by supplying weapons to enemies of Turkey, which will only exacerbate relations", Truevtsev said.
On Saturday, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation 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, it said.
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.