Turkish forces close in on city center of Syria's Afrin


It was the latest in a series of incidents police say may be linked to demonstrations by hundreds of people against Turkey's military operation in the northern Syrian region of Afrin aimed at sweeping the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from the Turkish border.

The Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army clear five more villages in Syria's northwestern enclave of Afrin from the PKK-linked YPG as part of Operation Olive Branch.

Erdogan asked. "We came in response to the calls on Afghanistan, Somalia and the Balkans, and now I am making the call, let's go to Syria". Jamie Janson is a British volunteer with the Syrian Kurdish militia, the YPG, in the Afrin region. More than one million people are now in Afrin city and villages around it after fleeing the fighting, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group. Erdogan also denounced North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Sunday, accusing the Western military alliance of failing to back Turkey's campaign. "Where are you?", RT quoted Erdogan as saying on Sunday. "As SYPG and JAS, we will launch a new group of human shields against the invasion of the Cizirê region and the Firat (Euphrates) region". Because of possible links with the PKK, Turkey has categorized Syria's Kurdhish militia as a "terrorist organization" and vows to act accordingly against it.

"In fact, they would openly oppose Turkey in Syria if they could".

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In northern Syrian zones, in the border with Turkey, have military presence of US forces, with about two thousand soldiers deployed in their military bases in Manbij and other Syrian demarcations.

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

Ayn al-Arab, better known by its Kurdish name Kobane, has huge symbolic importance as it was the epicentre of a struggle with Islamic State (IS) jihadists which was eventually won by the Kurds.