U.S. denies reducing operations from Turkey airbase
13 Marcha, 2018, 02:33 | Author: Kelly Blake
Turkey launched its offensive against the YPG on January 20 claiming that the Kurdish forces, which it argues are an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), represent a "terrorist" threat to its southern borders.
Damascus has condemned Turkish military action in Afrin, claiming that the territory is an integral part of Syria.
According to Anadolu Agency's map, a total of 1,100 square kilometers (425 square miles) of area has been cleared of terror threats during the operation.
Speaking to supporters in the city of Mersin, Erdogan said the Turkish army and allied Syrian rebels wanted to oust the YPG from all the towns they control close to the Turkish border.
The villages - including Zindakan, Qila, Kumush Burj, Qibar - were cleared of the terrorists, Anadolu Agency correspondents on the field reported.
Other five town centers include southwestern Jinderes, western Shaykh al-Hadid, northwestern Rajo, northern Bulbul and northeastern Sharan.
Ankara views the group as an extension of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it and other countries describe as a "terrorist" organisation.
YPG/PKK's shelters and defense zones are largely located in Afrin's city center.
Incirlik Base, which maintains an American and Turkish presence, has been used to launch combat operations against Daesh militias since 2015 and is the permanent residence of the 39th Air Base Wing of the US Air Force. The UN also has criticized the move to limit the mobility of civilians.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members not only show no support towards Turkey's Operation Olive Branch and would even openly oppose Ankara's actions in Syria, but did not have the guts to do so, Erdogan claimed.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and "utmost care" is being taken to not harm civilians.
The operation in Afrin - bordering Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces - was widely expected in the wake of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria, which cleared Daesh terrorists from Turkey's border between August 24, 2016, and March 2017.
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