Turkey Captures North Syrian Kurdish City of Afrin

Aaron Brown
March 19, 2018

"Resistance. will continue until every inch of Afrin is liberated and the people of Afrin return to their villages and homes", the statement read.

"Our forces all over Afrin will become a constant nightmare for them".

Dozens of Turkey's Kurdish and leftist groups appealed to world powers on Sunday to press for Turkish and Syrian rebel forces to withdraw from Afrin and avoid a "human tragedy" in the northwestern Syrian town.

Issa said Kurdish fighters had shown "unparalleled steadfastness and resistance" in the fight, but that Kurdish authorities had made a decision to evacuate civilians from Afrin "to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe".

If that happens, Turkey would control a large chunk of northern Syria from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean coast, in effect blocking the formation of a Kurdish statelet in the area, Erdurmaz said.

"This is a gift for those who were martyred on March 18", said a Turkish soldier as he waved the national flag in the video.

He added, "We will have to take necessary steps to rebuild Afrin, raise infrastructure and wipe out traces of terrorists".

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey announced the takeover of the city in a speech at a commemoration ceremony in Gallipoli on Sunday, hailing the Turkish and Syrian soldiers who had accomplished the takeover as heroes.

"We are not there to occupy but to wipe out terror groups and to achieve peace in Afrin", Erdogan noted.

Turkish authorities often use the term "neutralized" to refer to injured, killed, captured and surrendered militants.

"Most of the terrorists fled already", Erdogan said.

Turkey considers the YPG to be "terrorists", but the Kurdish militia has also been a key USA ally in the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation has aimed to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

Turkey sees the YPG as a "terrorist" offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state. Ankara said the demand did not apply to Afrin, but its operation has faced criticism in the West.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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