tiptrot.com
tiptrot.com May 27, 2018


Turkey's Erdogan says Afrin town center 'under control'

19 March 2018, 04:10 | Bernice Figueroa

Civilians flee the fighting

Civilians flee the fighting

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkish army troopers and their allies had wrested full control over Afrin town.

"Our war against the Turkish occupation and the forces of Takfirism, the so-called Free Army, has entered a new stage, which is the transition from the direct confrontation war to hit-and-run tactic to avoid more civilians getting killed", Othman Sheikh Issa, co-chairman of the Afrin Executive Council, said in a televised statement Sunday.

Syria's Kurds vowed to fight to retake the Kurdish enclave of Afrin after Turkey-led fighters on Sunday seized control of its main city two months into an offensive.

As the original battles in Syria's civil war draw to an end, with government forces pummeling the few remaining rebel-held areas and Islamic State on the retreat, new fronts have opened up as local, regional and global powers try to stake out positions for the post-war period.

The units entered Afrin at 8:30 a.m. on March 18, and the Syrian city was under control on the 58th day of the operation, with Turkish and FSA flags raised, Erdoğan said, speaking at the commemoration ceremony of the Gallipoli Campaign during World War One in the northwestern Çanakkale province.

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.


More than 150,000 people have fled Afrin in recent days, the Syrian Observatory said.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

Turkey has threatened to extend its offensive to another Kurdish-controlled region further east, where USA forces are stationed alongside the YPG, Washington's ally against Isis in Syria.

"In all of Afrin's sectors, our forces will become a permanent nightmare" for pro-Ankara forces, the statement said.

Other footage showed Syrian fighters shooting in the air in celebration while shouting "Allahu akbar", Arabic for "God is [the] greatest".

The statement also called on Kurdish people preparing to celebrate the spring festival of Newroz in Turkey this week to rally "in the spirit of resistance" and in solidarity with the people of the mainly Kurdish town.



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