Kurdish Delegation Meets with Damascus Officials, Russian Officers

TEHRAN (FNA)- A delegation from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) has had meetings with Syrian officials in Damascus and with Russian officers in Humeimim airbase in Lattakia province to talk over different aspects of the latest developments in Northern Aleppo and Ankara’s military threats, media reports said on Sunday.

The Kurdish-language Rudaw news quoted a governmental source as saying that the YPG delegation, headed by YPG commander Siban Hamou held a meeting with Head of Syria’s National Security Bureau Ali Mamlouk over the Turkish military threats for Afrin.

Siban Hamou and Ali Mamlouk also conferred on the latest developments in Northern Aleppo.

The YPG delegation ended the visit to Damascus and left the capital for Humeimim airbase to exchange view with the Russian officers over Moscow’s stance towards the attack of Turkish forces and their allies on Afrin region and its surroundings.

Media sources reported on Thursday that Russia demanded the Kurdish forces to retreat from several regions in Northern Aleppo to prevent Turkey’s aggression.

Rudaw news channel reported that a Russian delegation held a meeting with commanders of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin city in Northern Aleppo and called on them to withdraw from five towns in the region to remove the threat of Turkey’s aggression against Afrin and adjacent rural areas.

The report added that the Russian delegation demanded the Kurdish forces to withdraw from the towns of Manag, Tal Rifat, Deir Jamal, Sheikh Issa and Harbal and all the villages in al-Shahba region and open the Western Aleppo-Idlib road through al-Ahlam mountain near the town of Basouteh.

Meantime, the Russian delegation explained to the Kurds that Turkey would set up three military bases in al-Ahlam and Sheikh Barakat mountains overlooking Afrin from the South and Babasqa mountain which overlooks Idlib.

They also asked the Kurds to expel all members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from Afrin and give control of the city to the local council and its security to the local police and popular forces.

A well-informed local source in Northern Aleppo reported early July that thousands of militants affiliated to the Turkish Army were to kick off an imminent large-scale operation codenamed Seif al-Forat (the Euphrates Sword) in Afrin region.

The Turkish-language Sabah daily reported, meantime, that the Ankara-backed militants were expected to start their operation from West of the town of Azaz and from the town of Ein Daqneh and Ming military airport in Northern Aleppo to move towards the towns of Tal Rifat and Afrin in Aleppo province and the town of Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa.

The Turkish Army sent fresh reinforcements and more military equipment to a region that borders the Syrian town of Afrin Northwest of Aleppo province that is under the control of the Kurdish fighters.

The Turkish-language Anadolu news agency quoted security sources as saying that fresh forces and the convoy of military equipment have arrived in Kilis region in the Southern part of the country to provide back up for the Turkish soldiers that deployed at the border with Syria.

Salih Muslim, co-chair of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), stated that the Kurds will deliver control of the strategic town of Afrin to the Syrian government if Turkey continues aggression against it.

“If the US and Russia don’t help us stop Turkey’s aggression against Afrin, the town in Northeastern Aleppo will be delivered to the Syrian army as we did in Manbij,” Muslim said.

Noting that the Kurdish forces would block Turkey’s path to Afrin, he added, “Afrin is a part of the Syrian territories and we will not allow Turkey to occupy even an inch of the Syrian soil.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared at the end of G20 summit in Hamburg that Ankara would respond decisively to any threats on its borders, warning against any push by the Kurds to secure their own independent region.

Kurdish-Led SDF Captures 35 Percent of ISIL-Held Raqqa City

TEHRAN (FNA)- The predominately Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have driven ISIL terrorists out of 35 percent of Raqqa city, field sources said on Sunday.

Kurdish-language news websites quoted Omar Holiri, one of the commanders of SDF, as saying that the Kurdish fighters have imposed control over 35 percent of Raqqa city after 40 days of non-stop battle against ISIL in the city.

Relevant reports said last week that the SDF imposed control over more neighborhoods in Raqqa city.

The sources said that the SDF continued to hit ISIL’s positions from several directions and advanced towards the Central part of the city.

They added that the Kurdish fighters drove ISIL out of the historic Citadel of Haron al-Rashid and managed to advance 700m in the neighborhood towards the city center.

The SDF, meantime, captured al-Mazareh square North of al-Barid neighborhood.

The Kurdish forces entered the Old Raqqa neighborhood and won control over half of it after reaching the Old Grand Mosque.

Also, the SDF fighters pushed ISIL back from 75 percent of Raqqa’ Ancient Wall and approached the city’s silos.

The Kurdish-led forces also seized control over the villages of Ajil and Kasreh Mohammad Aqa.

Well-informed sources reported that fresh forces were dispatched to Raqqa city to join