3347 terrorists 'neutralized' in Syria's Afrin, Turkish military says

Turkish forces have surrounded Afrin city in Syria operation, says state media

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan addressed the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's sixth provincial congress in Turkey's Mersin on Saturday, Yeni Safak reports.

Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army fighters are seen with villagers in eastern Afrin, Syria on March 9, 2018.

Erdogan said on Sunday Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels were now just four to five kilometres from Afrin. Erdogan also denounced North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Sunday, accusing the Western military alliance of failing to back Turkey's campaign.

A total of 3,347 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the start of Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement on Monday morning.

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Several people in Germany were left injured after police used pepper spray against some demonstrators opposed to Turkey's ongoing military operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's Afrin region.

Managing alliances in Syria has always been a struggle for the U.S., as underscored by how often two US-armed allies end up directly fighting one another. NATO, Turkey is not a NATO country?

The YPG too denies any direct organisational links to Turkey's PKK- an assertion backed by a USA -led coalition whose air strikes have helped the militia and allied Arab fighters drive Islamic State militants out of tens of thousands of square kilometres of Syria.

She added that Turkey helped Bosnia in its times of need and continues to support the country.

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"Turkey's goal is not capture of the territories of the other states, but only elimination of the terrorism threat in the region".

"We are advancing toward Afrin [city center]".

Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced an "operational pause" in the fight against remnants of IS in eastern Syria, admitting that Turkey's activities in Afrin affected the coalition's capabilities.

Last month, pro-Syrian government militias entered Afrin region to back up the YPG, but their deployment did not deter Turkey despite the possibility of a wider escalation in the war, and it continued its campaign.

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The calls have been dismissed by Turkish officials, who insist they are fighting against "terrorists", while Afrin was not explicitly mentioned in the resolution.

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