Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Erdogan says Turkey can enter Syrian town of Afrin 'at any moment'

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks at the Turkish booth at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin Erdogan says Turkey can enter Syrian town of Afrin 'at any moment'
Jay Anderson | 11 March, 2018, 01:47

The Turkish armed forces will clear the territory from the eastern bank of the Euphrates in Syria up to the border with Iraq of terrorists, after it does the same in Afrin and Manbij cities, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

Erdogan also reaffirmed his previous vows that Turkey would not limit itself to clearing the Afrin region of the YPG, saying it wanted to carry on to the town of Manbij to the east and then to the Iraqi border.

Ankara, which has been waging the so-called Operation Olive Branch against the YPG forces in flashpoint region since January 20, has already said the offensive could extend to Manbij and beyond.

With this progress, a total of 35 percent of the villages and towns in the countryside of Afrin have been seized by the Turkish forces, said the Britain-based watchdog group.

Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to stop working with the YPG.

"The entire [area] is 2,000 square kilometer".

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.




"To date 850 square kilometers have been taken under our control".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has announced time for completing the Olive Branch operation in the Syrian Afrin.

Afrin's center is surrounded.

The Syrian government has already condemned the Turkish offensive against Afrin, rejecting Ankara's claim about having informed Damascus of the operation. Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Euphrates Shield, which began in August in 2016 and ended in March 2017, eliminated terrorists along the Syrian border.

Turkey launched the operation to wipe out the People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers as a terror group affiliated to the PKK, from northwestern Syria.

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