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Conflict Incident Report
Kurds protest Turkish Afrin offensive outside Russian Embassy in Beirut
Roughly a thousand Kurds held a demonstration near the Russian Embassy in Beirut’s Corniche al-Mazraa to protest the incursion of Turkish troops into Syria’s Kurdish-held Afrin region.
A security source told The Daily Star that the protest had “choked” traffic in the area, and that Internal Security Forces personnel had positioned themselves to prevent any attempt by protesters to enter the embassy.
The choice by the Kurdish protesters to target the Russian Embassy is likely due to perceived Russian complicity in the Turkish offensive – dubbed “Operation Olive Branch,” and now three days old – on the Kurdish-held region of northern Syria that borders Turkey.
Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies began their push to clear YPG Kurdish militia fighters the northwestern enclave on Saturday, opening a new front in Syria's civil war despite calls for restraint from the United States.
Turkish air raids killed 11 civilians in the area on Sunday, including eight members of the same family who had fled fighting elsewhere, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.