Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Turkish troops and allies say they've begun siege of Syria's Afrin

Turkish troops and allies say they've begun siege of Syria's Afrin

The Turkish military said the siege of Afrin, the main town in the enclave of the same name, began Monday after the military took control of "critical areas".

There was no immediate confirmation from local Kurdish officials.

As Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on January 20 to remove the PKK-linked Democratic Union Party (PYD) terrorist group and its armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG) from Afrin district in northwestern Syria, official social media accounts of the terrorist groups and their sympathizers, as well as other fake accounts, have resorted to numerous lies, fake images and false information regarding the operation, trying to portray the operation as aggression against civilians with the hope of garnering an worldwide intervention.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said that Afrin should be cleared of "terrorists", and demanded the deployment of Turkish troops there during a speech back in November 2016.

The surrounding of Afrin city would be a key step in Turkey's "Olive Branch" operation, launched on Jan 20 and aimed at ousting the YPG, a key partner of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group. Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). IS said it attacked troops in positions they took from rebels.

Redur Xelil, the head of foreign relations in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a YPG-dominated militia alliance, said Turkey was conducting a policy of "demographic change" in the area.

Meanwhile the Syrian regime is trying to crush Syrian rebel groups in eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

Haley said the Security Council's previous cease-fire agreement, which came into effect last month, had "failed".

The Russian Defense Ministry said Gen. Valery Gerasimov called Gen. Joseph Dunford Tuesday to discuss the situation in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.

Moreover, Turkish military and the FSA have controlled 1,100 square km of land in Afrin, seizing 197 locations including five town centers, 159 villages, 33 strategic hills and one base of Kurdish militants, Anadolu agency reported Monday.

An AFP reporter at the checkpoint saw Syrian Arab Crescent ambulances on standby. Rebels there have so far rejected a similar evacuation offer.

"Critically important areas have been seized" during Operation Olive Branch, says Turkish army.

Like this: