(BasNews) Russia has warned the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that it should hand over Afrin city in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) to the Syrian regime or the Turkish army will sweep through the city.
“Moscow has given PYD two options, either to accept the handover of the Afrin region to the Syrian regime, or Turkey will invade it,” a Kurdish politician in Russia told BasNews.
Russia’s UTRO newspaper reported Tuesday that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Istanbul on Sunday that the Kremlin would not oppose Turkish military action against PYD in Afrin.
The Turkish newspaper pointed out that Turkey’s goal of the operation is to control the town of Tel Rifaat and Meng air base, and about 10 other villages and towns in that area.
The Kurdish politician, preferring anonymity, said that Russia has told PYD that it will protect them from the Turkish invasion on multiple conditions, including obstructing Iranian and US intervention in Afrin, and handing over the city to the Syrian regime.
The source stressed that Russia gave the PYD a short time to respond to these demands, otherwise, the alternative is the Turkish invasion of Afrin. He noted that Russia offered the PYD in 2014 to protect Kobani in exchange for handing over oil region of Rumailan to the Syrian regime, but PYD rejected the offer and the result was the fall of Kobani to the Islamic State.
The news comes as a large number of Turkish military forces, along with other Syria opposition factions, gathered around Afrin, with exchanges of fire and clashes that killed two civilians and wounded six others on Monday and Tuesday.