Turkey wants Afrin offensive to end by May

11 March, 2018, 01:46 | Author: Jason Torres
  • Ankara considers joint op with Baghdad against Iraqi Kurds – FM

"The next day we will ensure that the eastern side of the Euphrates River is cleared of the terrorists up to the border with Iraq", Erdogan added.

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 Daesh terrorists during Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield.

Turkey's military and its rebel allies have besieged the northern Syrian town of Afrin and were nearing its town centre, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, in what would mark a major advance in Turkey's military operation.

Turkey has warned that the Afrin offensive could expand to the nearby Syrian city of Manbij.

"We thank Turkish soldiers and Turkey so much", Esra told Anadolu Agency.

On Tuesday, Kurdish-allied Syrian Arab militias said they are redeploying 1,700 fighters from fronts against Islamic State to the Afrin region to help fend off the Turkish offensive.

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"The number of neutralized terrorists in Afrin has risen to 3,213. 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.

It said they had also taken control of the Afrin Dam - also known as the 17 April Dam - which stores water and provides some hydroelectric power.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group that has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

Euphrates Shield, which began in August in 2016 and ended in March 2017, eliminated terrorists along the Syrian border.

Turkey launched the operation in northern Syria on January 20 against the US-backed YPG in its border stronghold of Afrin in northwestern Syria.

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