Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Syrian Kurds Deny Turkey's Claim Afrin Is Surrounded

Syrian Kurds Deny Turkey's Claim Afrin Is Surrounded

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.

Turkish soldiers and warplanes have made significant advances in the countryside of the border region of northwest Syria since launching an offensive in January that put Turkey at odds with its worldwide partners.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, resumed its 30-year armed campaign against Turkey government in July 2015 after a brief reconciliation period.

Turkey's foreign minister said Ankara and Washington have established working groups to discuss the stabilization of Manbij and other Syrian cities east of the Euphrates.

The move came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his troops and the Syrian fighters they were backing could break into the Kurdish-controlled town "at any moment".

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"We have besieged Afrin".

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.

Erdogan noted that a total of 815 square kilometres (506 square miles) have been cleared from the terrorists so far.

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

Afrin's center is surrounded.

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Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralised" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

Ankara says 42 Turkish soldiers have died in the fight.

Turkey frequently launches cross-border operations into the northern Iraq in pursuit of militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, who maintain bases there.

In August 2016, Turkey began a unilateral military intervention in northern Syria, code-named Operation Euphrates Shield, sending tanks and warplanes across the border.

Ankara has launched military incursion on January 20 against Kurdish YPG fighters in Kurdish-led autonomous Afrin and declared that the military campaign will continue until all PKK related groups are cleared from Turkey's southern borders, all the way to Iraq.

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