Turkey detains protesters against Afrin operation

01 March, 2018, 13:09 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Syrian Kurds angered by Western silence on Afrin

Turkey had issued arrest warrants and subsequent red notices for Muslum and 47 other PKK high-rank figures in November 2016, following the end of a three year long the reconciliation period, while a new red notice was issued for Muslum on February 13 as he was included on the updated most wanted terrorists list with a four million Turkish lira ($1.05 million) bounty on his head.

Turkey has officially requested the extradition of former Syrian Kurdish PYD leader Saleh Muslim from the Czech Republic, Ankara's government spokesman said on Monday, after authorities arrested Muslim in Prague a day earlier.

The air and ground offensive is created to drive back the Kurdish YPG, which Ankara sees as inextricably linked to the Kurdish PKK, which it views as a terrorist group.

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Czech authorities said Muslim was arrested based on a request from Turkey's Interpol office.

On Monday, Turkish prosecutors issued a new warrant for his detention, accusing Muslim and about 30 other people of being behind a bomb attack on a tax office in Ankara earlier this month. "A total of 845 people were detained", the statement said.

Muslim was expected to appear before a Prague court on Tuesday, which would then decide if he will remain in detention, Turkish Ambassador in Prague Ahmet Necati Bigali told Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.

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Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies, supported by Turkish air strikes, have pushed the Kurdish fighters back from most of Turkey's border with Afrin since they launched their assault on January 20.

Two days after a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire across the country, Syria's army and its allies have continued their assault on the rebel-held enclave of eastern Ghouta near Damascus, and Turkey deployed police special forces to the northwestern Syrian region of Afrin on Monday for a "new battle" against the Kurdish YPG militia.

The PYD is the political arm of the YPG, which is a Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

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