Residents of cities in North Syria are holding mass rallies against Turkey’s potential offensive on the country’s northern district of Afrin, controlled by Kurdish militia, Hawar news agency reported Thursday.

According to the agency, tens of thousands people are also protesting against the life imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

 The protests follow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement made Saturday that Turkey was prepared to launch a campaign in Syria’s Manbij and Afrin regions.

These areas are controlled by the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units YPG, which Ankara considers an affiliate of the PKK, designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey and several other countries.

Turkey’s Euphrates Shield Operation initially started in Syria in August 2016 to defeat Daesh, then began to target the Syrian Kurdish units.

The announcement by the Turkish president came amid an article published on the Defense Post news website on Saturday, in which the spokesman of the US-led coalition fighting against Daesh said that the coalition was engaged in training of a 30,000-strong force on the Syrian territory currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to maintain security in controlled area along the Syrian border.

Source: Sputnik