Monday, 15 July, 2019

Turkey Says Its Forces Encircle Kurdish-Held Afrin In Northern Syria

Turkey Says Its Forces Encircle Kurdish-Held Afrin In Northern Syria Turkey Says Its Forces Encircle Kurdish-Held Afrin In Northern Syria
Patty Aguilar | 17 March, 2018, 14:48

Turkish troops and allied opposition fighters have begun a siege of the Syrian Kurdish-held northern town of Afrin, the Turkish military said on Tuesday.

He went even further by saying that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would oppose the Turkish military's Operation Olive Branch, which targets Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin region of neighboring Syria, if the alliance had the drive to do so.

Turkey's army and allied Syrian rebel forces have surrounded the city of Afrin in northwestern Syria, the main target of Turkey's operation there.

Thousands of civilians started to flee Afrin on Monday as they feared the deadly battles in the city, heading towards nearby areas controlled by the Syrian government.

The number of PKK-affiliated People's Protection Forces (YPG) terrorists "neutralized" has risen to 3,393 since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, the military also announced Tuesday.

Cavusoglu said Tuesday that Turkey and the United States would decide on a plan for the process during talks scheduled for March 19, but said Turkish forces would carry out a military operation if the discussions fail. The forces were being concentrated in Turkish Kilis Province bordering Syrian territory controlled by YPG/PYD.

"Critically important areas have been seized" during Operation Olive Branch, says Turkish army.

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The largest rebel group in the besieged suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus has vowed not to leave the area and to continue fighting advancing government forces. Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Speaking to reporters on a flight to Moscow, Turkey's foreign minister was quoted as saying that Ankara and Washington would together oversee the withdrawal of YPG fighters from Manbij, a move that Turkey has long demanded.

Xelil, from the US-backed alliance that includes the YPG, told Reuters he had no knowledge of any agreement between Washington and Ankara to withdraw the YPG from Manbij.

The Army of Islam was responding to some local reports that said it is negotiating with the Syrian government and its Russian backers to leave the area known as eastern Ghouta.

Syrian government forces have recently captured more than half of eastern Ghouta and laid a siege on the group's stronghold of Douma.

"We will work together. we have good mechanisms on how we can achieve this, there is a lot of work to be done", Tillerson said back then, without elaborating.

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