Erdogan: Turkish troops to enter Afrin at any moment

Violet Powell
March 11, 2018

Ankara considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters "terrorists" and allied with Kurdish insurgents fighting inside Turkey.

He added that Turkey will help Afrin to rebuild and fix, including its electricity, water, education, and healthcare systems, just like it did in Jarablus, Ar-rai, Azaz and Al-Bab, after clearing these Syrian cities of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) miliants during Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Austrian counterpart Karin Kneissl, Cavusoglu told reporters in Vienna that Turkey wanted the operation to end as quickly as possible so that Afrin can "embrace stability and civilians can return". As of now, we have Afrin encircled.

Rami Abel Rahman, head of the Observatory, said the aim was to besiege Afrin, cutting it off from other areas.

The terrorist organization continues to negotiate with Iran-backed groups to get Gubar back, the sources said.

The US forces in Manbij have recently resisted Turkey's calls for them to leave the area.

Turkey says they have ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), active in Turkey.

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Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey has escalated as a result of the operation, with Ankara accusing Washington of leaving pockets of Daesh militants in Syria intact to justify continued cooperation with Kurdish forces in the country.

The Turkish Army and pro-Ankara militias have kicked-off the most critical phase of their Olive Branch operation against Kurdish forces in Aleppo province - the assault to seize the city of Afrin, Al-Masdar News reports.

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

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. Charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

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

"Then we will ensure security there and send our (displaced) brothers of Afrin back to their homes".

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