Red Cross says aid delivered to Syria's Ghouta

11 March, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Kurds fleeing their village where Turkish forces and Syrian rebels battle against Kurdish fighters in Afrin

Four kilometers separate the Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels from the northeastern rim of Afrin city and 6 km from its northern border, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country's troops will enter Syria's northern city of Afrin "at any moment", less than two months after Ankara launched a full-scale cross-border offensive into the Arab country in a declared bid to eliminate the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militants.

"We have established working groups for that", Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit on Friday. "So hopefully, we can make some headway at that level today". Where there are terrorists, we'll be there, he added.

The PKK is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians.

It has been listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the USA and the European Union.

The Turkish military campaign succeeded in capturing three towns on Saturday, becoming thus in control of 221 towns and villages since the "Olive Branch" operation launched on January 20, the Observatory said.

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

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

F-16 fighters of the Turkish Air Force are involved in the operation, inflicting strikes on the positions of PYD/YPG on the Syrian-Turkish border.

The military intervention came after the United States said it would set up a 30,000-strong militant border force at Turkish doorstep.

Erdogan said in the initial phase 2,000 square kilometres (772.2 square miles) will be taken into control.



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