President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan clearly designated his country’s priorities in Syria before a scheduled on 22 November high-level meeting in Sochi. According to Erdogan, the political future of northern Syrian enclave Afri will be raised during the negotiations with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and leader of Iran Hassan Rouhani.
“I believe that this meeting will have an important meaning for the political settlement in Syria,” Erdogan said, when evaluating the perspectives of the talks. He also added that Turkey secured the Russian support, when it concerns the Ankara’s response to “feasible threats and provocations, which may follow from Afrin”.
Earlier, Ankara reiterated that it could launch a full-scale military operation in order to clear a region of Kurdish YPG militia fighters and take control of an 130-kilometer stretch from Azaz to Daret Izza and Deir Ballut. If Erdogan decides to proceed with his plans on the military operation in Afrin, it may create an additional trouble- spot in a war-torn Syria and create an influx of refugees.
It is reported that up to 10,000 fighters may be stationed in the Afrin enclave, including subdivisions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units and the Syrian Democratic Forces, a multiethnic alliance mostly comprised of the Kurdish fighters.