BEIRUT, January 22. /TASS/. The Kurdish community in Lebanon has handed a manifesto over to the Russian embassy in Beirut on Monday, calling on Moscow "to defend the Kurds living in Syria’s Afrin."
Sources in the Russian diplomatic mission told TASS that activists coming to the embassy with olive branches in their hands condemned Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, saying that it would lead to civilian deaths. "The Kurds expect Russia to take a constructive stance when the situation in northern Syria is discussed at the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Security Council," the manifesto said.
The Lebanese Kurds held rallies in front of the Russian embassy and the Russian Center for Science and Culture, condemning the Turkish military invasion in the Afrin area.
On January 20, Turkey’s General Staff announced the launch of Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and forces of the Democratic Union Party in Syria’s Afrin area, where about 1.5 mln Syrian Kurds reside. The YPG, the main target of the Turkish operation, are the attack force of the Syrian Democratic Forces supported by the United States. Kurdish units were the most effective force taking part in the ground operations against the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia).
According to media reports, Turkish aircraft carried out strikes on more than 170 targets in Afrin. Sky News Arabia said that six civilians and three YPG fighters had been killed in the strikes. However, the Turkish General Staff insists that all those killed "were terrorists."