Turkey will deliver Afrin to its true owners, says Erdoğan

11 March, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • A Syrian army tank rolls into the formerly rebel-held area of Beit Nayem in Eastern Ghouta

Turkey's state-run news agency said meanwhile that Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition forces had entered the town of Jinderes, in the enclave's southwest, where they were engaged in street clashes with Syrian Kurdish forces.

A total of 18 PKK terrorists were "neutralized" in Turkey's southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin and northern Iraq this week, the Turkish General Staff said on Saturday.

Turkey said Thursday it could launch a cross-border military operation against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) elements in Iraq in cooperation with the Iraqi army.

"We are removing the last remaining obstacles standing before our besieging of Afrin city centre".

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

In his speech, Erdogan said the military operation would not end with the seizure of Afrin. "We will take the entire area under control in the first phase and send our brothers from Afrin back to their lands", Erdogan further said, adding that the Turkish troops had already "made safe" an area extending to 815 square kilometers.




As part of the operation, 3,213 PYD/YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists were neutralized, 42 soldiers were martyred and 202 soldiers were wounded, the statement added.

The Syrian government has already condemned the Turkish offensive against Afrin, rejecting Ankara's claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.

"Right now, Afrin city centre is surrounded".

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.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has announced time for completing the Olive Branch operation in the Syrian Afrin.

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