Turkey will deliver Afrin to its true owners, says Erdoğan

11 March, 2018, 01:48 | Author: Bert Pena
  • Turkey will deliver Afrin to its true owners, says Erdoğan

Erdogan also said that a total of 3,171 terrorists have been "neutralised" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria.

The Turkish army and its allies from Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions pushed fighters from the Syrian Kurdish YPG out of the town centre on Thursday following intense clashes, it said, adding that operations to secure the area were continuing.

The city of Manbij, also held by the YPG, was captured from ISIS in a joint US-Kurdish offensive.

"Once we have purged the terrorists (from Afrin) we will then cleanse them from Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tel-Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli", he said in televised comments.

Earlier this month, Erdogan accused US President Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama of failing to tell the truth over US support for the YPG. "Approximately 850 square kilometers are under our control during the Afrin operation, and our aim is to clear 2,000 square kilometers from terrorists", he added.

Three YPG  PKK terrorists surrender in southeast Turkey

In his speech, Erdogan said the military operation would not end with the seizure of Afrin.

In the YPG/PKK attack, a pick-up truck of the members of the Syrian family - three of them children - were targeted by anti-tank guns near Jinderes town in Afrin as they were headed home in the recently liberated village of Deir Ballut.

The offensive has so far killed 42 Turkish soldiers and more than 150 allied Syrian opposition fighters.

Euphrates Shield began in August in 2016 and ended in March 2017, and cleared towns on Turkish border of ISIL militants.

Ankara claimed that its military campaign was aimed at pushing the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group from Turkey's border with Syria and stopping the advance of Kurdish militia, who were themselves fighting Daesh.

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