Syrian Rebels, Backed by Turkey, Seize Control of Afrin

19 March, 2018, 00:12 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • The Latest Syrian Kurds deny Turkey has taken Afrin

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have taken "total" control of the centre of Afrin, a Kurdish-majority city in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

After 57 days of military operations, the Turkish armed forces, in co-operation with "Free Syrian Army" forces, managed to invade the center of the city of Afrin, which until a few hours ago was controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia forces.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Turkey-backed forces have taken control of half the town, with heavy fighting still underway.

Afrin is one of the cantons in the self-proclaimed Kurdish autonomous administration in northern Syria and Ankara is anxious by the consolidation along its border of a de facto statelet ruled by a group it considers a terrorist organisation.

Clashes in Afrin were still under way, she said.

Abdo said that the terrorists did not hesitate to attack and kill civilians.

It added that while nearly 200,000 people had fled the area in recent days amid heavy airstrikes, thousands of civilians remained.

The president said "most of the terrorists have already fled with tails between their legs", and that his country's "special forces and members of the Free Syrian Army are cleaning the remains and the traps they left behind". Ankara considers both groups to be offshoots of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey for decades.




"Afrin town center has come under the control of the Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army", the Turkish General Staff said on its official Twitter account.

"Maybe it will be cleared by the end of the day - it's empty of [YPG] fighters, they cleared out", he said.

Celebratory gunfire by FSA fighters in Afrin city.

"Our forces all over Afrin will become a constant nightmare for them", Othman Sheikh Issa, co-chair of the Afrin executive council, said in a televised statement.

On January 20, Turkey launches operation "Olive Branch" into Syria, aiming to oust the YPG militia from its enclave of Afrin.

Photos show soldiers in Afrin toppling a statue of Kawa, a Kurdish and Persian mythical hero and symbol of Kurdish new year celebrations that are being held this week. "Our job is not done yet, we have a lot more work". Most died in airstrikes and artillery fire, the group said, adding that more than 400 pro-Ankara rebels had been killed since 20 January.

Turkey also fears the establishment of a Kurdish self-ruled zone in Syria that could inspire its own Kurdish minority to press for greater autonomy.

Recommended:



Popular

Jose Mourinho slams Man United's 'lack of personality and desire'
He added: Scott played the worst match since he played in the first team. It is a relation to trust, it is a relation to class.

Historic NCAA upset leads to free Little Caesars Pizza for everyone
Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States**. I can't imagine many worse jobs than being one of the Little Caesars employees over those 90 minutes.

Will continue to "fully cooperate" with Robert Mueller: White House
The subpoena's intention was to "clean up" and to ensure that all related documents are handed over to the special counsel . Mueller is investigating Russian attempts to influence the 2016 US election, and potential collusion by Trump aides.

Chung reaches quarter-finals at Indian Wells
On a day of swirling wind, Federer won 100% of his first serve points on his way to a 7-5, 6-4 win over Chardy. And ahead of their second career meeting, Federer compared Chung to one of his great rivals.

Jeremy Corbyn's doubts over Russian Federation evidence spark MPs' backlash
The PM said: "This is not a question of our diplomacy, of what diplomatic support we have around the world". But the Labour leader's article made the link explicitly.

Jets to sign Teddy Bridgewater
He had ties to their new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and they had more money than any of the top QB-needy teams. Holdovers Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty could be out of jobs once the overhaul is complete.

Sexton leads Alabama past Virginia Tech in first round of NCAA Tournament
National Basketball Association scouts will have their eyes focused on Collin Sexton during the night session in Pittsburgh . Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams , his voice already hoarse, erupted on the sideline and was hit with a technical foul.

Alberta gov't not backing Edmonton's participation in 2026 Federation Internationale de Football Association bid
The North American 2026 World Cup bid committee have released the 23 cities available for hosting duties during the event. El Amrani believes both his country and continent are ready to host football's flagship event once again.

Texas DA Investigating Death Of Puppy Placed In Airline Overhead Bin
Mrs Swindle told KCTV5 United acknowledged they had accidentally sent Irgo to Japan, and will be flown back by the weekend. The airline said its policy calls for owners to put dogs in carriers under seats or in the cargo hold.

Venezuela turmoil could push oil market into deficit: IEA
Venezuela's crude output was expected to continue to drop, even if Tillerson had remained as the U.S. top diplomat. The shockingly low level of new discoveries is the direct result of a dramatic fall in spending on exploration.