11:06 GMT27 February 2021
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    0 44

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Turkish military on Tuesday surrounded the Kurdish-held Syrian city of Afrin in the course of its Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish General Staff said.

    "As a result of Operation Olive Branch, as of March 12, the center of the city of Afrin is surrounded, the strategically important areas are taken under control," the military said in a statement.

    READ MORE: Pentagon Slams Report of Reduced US Ops at Turkish Base as 'Speculation'

    On March 12, the Anadolu news agency reported, citing military sources, that Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army were advancing toward Afrin, and at that time they were 1.5 kilometers southeast of the city center.

    According to the media outlet, a total of 1,100 square kilometers of the Afrin region have been cleared of Kurdish forces during the operation.

    On January 20, Ankara, jointly with the opposition Free Syrian Army forces, launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin in order to "clear" Turkey's Syrian border from the terrorist threat. Turkey considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria, and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.

    Damascus has condemned the operation as a violation of Syria's sovereignty.


    Turkish Armed Forces Now Less Than Mile Away From Syria's Afrin – Reports
    Syrian Arab Red Crescent, UN Preparing Aid Convoy to Syria's Afrin, Tall Rifat
    Kurdish YPG Reports Repelling Turkish Forces Attack in Syrian Afrin
    State Dept Alarmed as Syrian Democratic Forces Leave Coalition to Focus on Afrin
    Syrian Democratic Forces Sending Fighters to Afrin to Help YPG Fight Turks
    Battle for Afrin: 48 Pro-Syrian Gov't Fighters Killed Amid Turkish Op
    encirclement, Operation Olive Branch, Afrin, Turkey, Syria
    Community standardsDiscussion