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Turkey announces Afrin city center 'completely' besieged

By Rudaw 13/3/2018
People in Afrin's countrysides flee as Turkey and its FSA proxy fighters press towards the capital city. Photo: Omar Haj Kadour | AFP
People in Afrin's countrysides flee as Turkey and its FSA proxy fighters press towards the capital city. Photo: Omar Haj Kadour | AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Turkish military announced on Tuesday that Afrin's city center is besieged.

The Turkish Army announced the city center was "completely surrounded," Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday.

Kurdish Afrin, in northwestern Syria, has been under the control of the People's Protection Units (YPG).

It comprises one of three cantons in Rojava, or Syrian Kurdistan.

Turkey considers the Kurdish groups in Afrin and Rojava as branches of the PKK, a named terror organization, and has framed its Operation Olive Branch as a counter-terror one. 

Turkey claims that their operation is also against ISIS, despite no independent, confirmed reports of ISIS in Afrin.

More than 200 civilians have been reported killed in Afrin since Turkey launched its operation on January 20.


The United Kingdom has stated it believes Turkey's promises to protect civilians and "we will hold them to their statement." 


Turkey has continued its operation despite a UN ceasefire resolution that agreed for a cessation of hostilities by all parties in Syria not fighting against ISIS or al-Qaeda.


More than 16,000 IDPs from Afrin are living in "tragic humanitarian conditions" in Aleppo's Nubl and Zahra, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday.

After Monday's operations, Turkish forces and their partnered forces were only 4 kilometers away from the southwest of Afrin city, according to the Observatory. Additionally, the Turkish offensive reached "the outskirts" of Afrin city from the northern and eastern axes of advance.


The YPG, as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have formed the backbone of the US-led coalition's ground forces in the fight against ISIS.


Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that in his meeting with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson on Monday, they will ensure that YPG forces leave Manabí and that Ankara and Washington jointly run the city.


“We have reached a common understanding with the Americans on the issue of the stabilization of Manbij and other cities east of the Euphrates. We have established working groups for that,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit.


Turkey and its Free Syrian Army proxies began their assault against Afrin on January 20.

This is a developing story... Last updated at 11:50 p.m.


Hiwa | 13/3/2018
It is shameful for Rudaw for such news description, where is your news international public opinion and informing global authority for such crime and Kurdish genocide by fascist Erdogan regime??? We are very sad to see such news.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 13/3/2018
Red Apples.
sam | 13/3/2018
well done turkish armed forces time to clear the area of ypg terrorists and allow kurdish civilians to live peacefully under united syria
Dave | 13/3/2018
So Americas is bending over and allowing Ankara to treat it like its bitch?
reds | 14/3/2018
U.S. Said it was only worried about (as far as SDF) east of the river,but I never thought they would hand the city over to these monkeys

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