Turkey presses Czech authorities to extradite detained Kurdish leader

Turkey and the Free Syrian Army last month launched an operation into Afrin to'neutralise Kurdish fighters

Turkey and the Free Syrian Army last month launched an operation into Afrin to'neutralise Kurdish fighters

Salih Muslim is a former co-chair of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria.

The Kurdish Hawks Brigade, part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), will join Turkey's Operation Olive Branch launched against YPG/PKK and Daesh terror organizations in Afrin, northwestern Syria, a brigade commander said Sunday. "It is logical that the Turkish minister would like to talk about this with our minister", Lagronova told reporters on Sunday, adding that phone talks between the two foreign ministers had not been scheduled so far.

Turkish Justice Ministry and the General Directorate of Security said that procedures have started for Muslim's extradition to Turkey where he would face "terrorism" charges.

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The arrest comes as Turkey presses a military operation against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia - the military wing of the PYD - in the enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.

He is linked with a bombing attack in Ankara that killed 37 people.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on worldwide law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said. An extradition request would have be approved by a Czech court and by the justice minister.

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Should Muslim be extradited to Turkey, his arrest would be one of the biggest captures of a wanted Kurdish leader by Turkey since the detention of PKK founder Abdullah Ocalan in a 1999 operation in Kenya.

The Czech authorities also asked Turkey to submit the necessary documents for Muslim's extradition.

In a statement, the YPG affirmed its support for UN Security Council Resolution 2401, which aims to establish an immediate nationwide ceasefire in Syria.

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In August 2016, Turkey began a unilateral military intervention in northern Syria, code-named Operation Euphrates Shield, sending tanks and warplanes across the border.

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