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Pentagon’s arms supplies to pro-US units trigger Afrin operation - Defense Ministry

January 20, 22:43 UTC+3

On Saturday, Turkey’s General Staff declared the beginning of Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish units from Self-Defense Forces and Democratic Union Party in Afrin

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MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. The Pentagon’s deliveries of cutting-edge weapons, including man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), to pro-American units have triggered Turkey’s military operation in north Syria, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

"The United States’ provocations aimed to set apart mostly Kurdish regions have become the key factors determining a crisis scenario in that Syrian region," the Russian defense ministry said in comments on the beginning of Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish units.

"Ankara’s extremely negative reaction was sparked by Washington’s announcements on deployment of ‘border forces’ in regions neighboring Turkey as well as other US steps towards the partition of Syria and the steps backing up militants’ armed groups."

"The Pentagon’s uncontrolled deliveries of cutting-edge weapons to pro-American detachments in Syria’s north, including reported MANPADS, have whipped up tensions in the region and caused the Turkish forces’ special operation," the ministry said.

"Such irresponsible steps of the US in Syria tend to derail the process of peaceful settlement and block the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, in which Kurds are due to be full participants."

On Saturday, Turkey’s General Staff declared the beginning of Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish units from Self-Defense Forces and Democratic Union Party in Afrin, home to 1.5 million Syrian Kurds. Ankara says that these two groups are affiliates of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) recognized as terrorist in Turkey.

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