Turkey's military and its rebel allies have besieged the northern Syrian town of Afrin and were nearing its town centre, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, in what would mark a major advance in Turkey's military operation. "We can enter Afrin at any moment", Erdogan said as Turkish forces were just 6 km away from the city of Afrin.
Erdogan reiterated Turkey's firm determination to advance to Manbij and other YPG-held locations east of the Euphrates River, once the operation on the Afrin enclave is completed.
The foreign minister said "Operation Olive Branch" in Syria's Afrin against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) group may end by May. "We will take the entire area under control in the first phase and send our brothers from Afrin back to their lands", he added. We will be in Manbij tomorrow.
"We hope that the USA will give up supporting terrorist organizations".
Turkish and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces on Wednesday liberated one more Syrian village from YPG/PKK-ISIL terrorists as part of a Turkish-led operation in Afrin, northwestern Syria.
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SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said the Syrian town had suffered extensive destruction.
The Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in statements to imply that the militants in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
Erdogan has threatened to move on to capture the town of Manbij, east of Afrin, to remove Kurdish-led forces along whom United States troops are stationed since 2016 when they drove out IS.
"Jarabulus was 2,000 square-kilometers and we cleared it".
"Then we will ensure security there and send our [displaced] brothers of Afrin back to their homes".