World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian regime and the PKK/PYD terrorist group have discussed a possible cooperation against Turkey-backed Operation Euphrates Shield in northern part of the country, a source told Anadolu Agency on Saturday.
A Russia-brokered meeting between Syrian officials and top representatives of the terror group was held on Friday at Hmeymim airbase in the western Syrian city of Latakia, said a source, who also attended the meeting, on the condition of anonymity.
The Operation Euphrates Shield, which captured the major part of ISIL stronghold Al-Bab in northern Syria, became the main topic of the discussion, the source said noting both parties were afraid of Turkey-backed opposition fighters’ advance towards PKK/PYD-held territories in the region.
Turkey views the PYD as the Syrian-offshoot of the PKK, a group designated as terrorist by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.
The meeting was concluded with an agreement to raise the Syrian regime flag in major residential areas of southern part of Azaz city, including Tal Rifat, Minning, Meranaz, Deyr Jamal, Ayn Dakna and Mayer, in order to stop the advance of the Operation Euphrates Shield forces.
The Operation Euphrates Shield, led by Free Syrian Army fighters, began late August to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border backed by Turkish artillery and jets.
The operation has focused on the ISIL-held town of Al-Bab since early December. FSA fighters supported by Turkish forces have reached the town’s western and northern outskirts, according to a Turkish military statement on Saturday.
A total of 2,705 ISIL fighters and 344 PKK/PYD terrorists were “neutralized” since the beginning of the operation, the Turkish General Staff said in a weekly briefing note.
The military said 229 residential areas and 1,910 square kilometers (725 square miles) of land had been secured along northern Syria’s Azaz to Jarabulus corridor that runs parallel to the Turkish frontier.