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Erdogan: Turkish forces to sweep across northern Syria after Afrin, Manbij
10 March 2018, 12:57 | Kara Nash
Turkey neutralises 3055 terrorist in Syria
The Turkish army and Free Syrian Army (FSA) members are pushing ahead after surrounding the city center of Afrin in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 9.
Up to 900 civilians have so far been killed or injured in the Turkish campaign on Afrin, according to latest figures provided by Syria's SANA news agency.
Ankara considers those militias an extension of its domestic Kurdish militant organization, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is deemed to be a terrorist group by the Turkish government.
Speaking last Thursday to journalists in Ankara, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag reiterated position of his government according to which "terrorists are the same everywhere, one can not divide them into bad and good ones".
"We can start to hopefully work out some of the issues", the State Department Spokesperson said on Thursday, referring to the Turkey-U.S. tense relations of the past period. As of now, we have Afrin encircled.
In January, Ankara launched an offensive against the Kurdish fighters in Syria's Afrin region, which includes the central town with several villages and swathes of countryside around it.
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"The forces of Erdogan's Turkish army. are 10 to 15 km away from it", YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud said. "Today, there were also clashes around Bulbul, where they announced around 30 days ago that they captured, occupied it". We will be in Manbij tomorrow.
Erdogan said Afrin will be cleared of terrorists exactly like Jarabulus city in Syria's Aleppo was cleared during Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in late August in 2016 and ended in March 2017.
Erdogan's repeated threats to push on to Manbij have caused complications with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States, which has its troops deployed in the area.
The YPG forms the bulk of the SDF.
Turkey is now engaged in a cross-border offensive in Syria to drive out Kurdish fighters it considers to be an extension of the PKK.
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