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Turkish Army Seizes US Arms Left by YPG 'Terrorists' in Afrin - Deputy PM

© REUTERS / Khalil AshawiTurkish-backed Free Syrian Army members are celebrating in Afrin, Syria March 18, 2018
Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army members are celebrating in Afrin, Syria March 18, 2018 - Sputnik International
Speaking about the success of Turkey's military operation in Syrian Kurdish-dominated Afrin, the country's deputy Prime Minister announced that Ankara had managed to reduce the significant threat on its border by capturing the city.

The Deputy PM has revealed Turkey's plans concerning the offensive, saying that the country's forces would not remain in Afrin, instead leaving the city to its "real owners."

Meanwhile, Anadolu Agency, a Turkish news agency reported that a bomb had been planted by Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that killed at least 7 civilians and 4 Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in part of central Afrin which had earlier been cleared by Turkish military and FSA, citing a security source.

The bomb went off late Sunday in a four-story building in Afrin, killing at least 7 civilians and 4 FSA fighters, the agency specified.

​The explosion took place amid Ankara's recent advance in the area: Turkish-backed forces managed to take over the town center on Sunday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Turkish army and FSA units entered Afrin and established full control over the settlement.

READ MORE: Erdogan Claims Control of Afrin, Local Gov't Vows 'Nightmare' for Turks (VIDEO)

Ankara launched Operation Olive Branch on January 20 to neutralize YPG groups in Afrin. Turkey maintains that YPG is linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization in Turkey. The Syrian government has condemned the operation as a breach of the country's sovereignty.

READ MORE: German Consulate on Crete Stormed As Turkish Forces Advance on Afrin (VIDEO)

The offensive has been strongly condemned by Damascus, which decried Turkey's move as "a violation of the country's sovereignty."

Responding to these accusations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that preservation of the territorial integrity of Syria is the common goal of Ankara and Damascus and that Turkish troops are not going to attack government forces in Syria.

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