Erdogan says Syria's Afrin town under siege, entry imminent

11 March, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Afrin campaign to end in May Turkey and Iraq to fight PKK together Turkish FM

Earlier, Anadolu state news agency reported that the town of Jinderes in south-western Afrin, where Turkish troops and their allies from the Free Syrian Army continue the operation against local Kurdish militia.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, resumed its 30-year armed campaign against Turkey government in July 2015 after a brief reconciliation period.

"Turkey will make sure the east of the Euphrates to the Iraqi border is cleansed of any terrorist group after operations in Syria", he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's sixth provincial congress in Turkey's Mersin on Saturday, Yeni Safak reports.

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"We have besieged Afrin".

On Tuesday, Kurdish-allied Syrian Arab militias said they are redeploying 1,700 fighters from fronts against Islamic State to the Afrin region to help fend off the Turkish offensive.

"We have established working groups for that", Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit on Friday.

Erdogan noted that a total of 815 square kilometres (506 square miles) have been cleared from the terrorists so far.

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The Kurdish YPG is contesting this claim, however, with YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud saying that the Turks are more like 10 to 15 km away from Afrin, and that they definitely do not have the city surrounded.

The word "neutralised" is used to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

Turkey launched the assault into the enclave on January 20 to drive out Syrian Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers to be a security threat due to their links to outlawed rebels in Turkey.

Turkey's foreign minister says his government hopes that a cross-border military offensive in a Syrian Kurdish-held enclave will end before May.

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