Erdogan: Turkish Forces to Enter Afrin At Any Moment


Speaking in Turkey's capital Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also emphasised that Turkish troops will move on Manbij and other YPG-held areas in northern Syria after Afrin.

"Now our objective is Afrin". "We are removing the last remaining obstacles standing before our besieging of Afrin city centre", he said, adding there was still about six kilometres (3.7 miles) to go to reach Afrin from the outskirts of Jinderes.

Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies seized control of the town of Jinderes on Thursday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported, giving them control of one of the largest settlements in Syria's northwest Afrin region.

Turkey launched its operation, dubbed "Olive Branch", in northern Syria almost seven weeks ago to sweep the Syrian Kurdish YPG from the Turkish border.

Turkey invaded Afrin in January, and says the intention is to attack Manbij next.

"We have established working groups for that", Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit on Friday. "And the next day we will ensure that terrorists are cleared east of the Euphrates River up to the Iraqi border", he said.

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"The entire [area] is 2,000 square kilometer".

The word "neutralised" is used to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

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.

It said they had also taken control of the Afrin Dam - also known as the 17 April Dam - which stores water and provides some hydroelectric power.

Jarablus was liberated from Daesh terrorists by Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in September 2016.

Operation Olive Branch is Turkey's second major military intervention in Syria during the unprecedented foreign-backed militancy that broke out in 2011.