Turkish Forces Set for Assault on Key Kurdish-Held City in Syria

Turkish Forces Set for Assault on Key Kurdish-Held City in Syria

Turkish Forces Set for Assault on Key Kurdish-Held City in Syria

In a televised statement on Friday, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army fighters and Turkish troops were 6km from the centre of Afrin. "Closed doors can open, and guns and money can flow abundantly", he said.

Turkey launched its operation, dubbed "Olive Branch", in northern Syria almost seven weeks ago to sweep the Syrian Kurdish YPG from the Turkish border.

Erdogan also reaffirmed his previous vows that Turkey would not limit itself to clearing the Afrin region of the YPG, saying it wanted to carry on to the town of Manbij to the east and then to the Iraqi border.

Turkey regards the YPG as a terror group and a branch of militants in Turkey who have waged an insurgency for decades. "So hopefully, we can make some headway at that level today".

Turkey launched operation "Olive Branch" on January 20 against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a powerful militia that controls the Afrin region in northwest Syria and which Ankara regards as a "terror group".

Qamishli is seen as the main town of the YPG-controlled region.


This is while USA officials regard the YPG as the most effective fighting force against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support to the group.

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

Turkish air forces regularly strike weapon depots and hideouts used by PKK in northern Iraq, where the group uses as a base for years.

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.

Erdogan said in the initial phase 2,000 square kilometres (772.2 square miles) will be taken into control.

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