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14 March 2018, 10:35 | Erica Roy
Protesters call on government to help people in Afrin
Afrin city is the key target in Turkey's seven-week operation Olive Branch launched on January 20 and aimed at ousting the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from the Afrin region of northern Syria.
"It sounds like Erdogan is daydreaming when he says Afrin will fall tonight", said Redur Khalil, a senior official in the YPG.
Earlier in the day, the Turkish leader expressed hope that Turkish servicemen and militants from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) would take control over Afrin as early as Wednesday evening.
The YPG, the Kurdish force defending Afrin, dismissed Erdogan's statements.
Ebrahim Ebrahim, a Europe-based spokesman for the largest Kurdish group in Syria, the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, said those fleeing were heading toward government-controlled areas, fearful that Turkish troops and Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters might commit atrocities against the Kurds and minority Christians, Alawites and Yazidis in the town.
Ankara launched an offensive almost two months ago against the town, to drive out Syrian Kurdish forces that control the northern region near Turkey's border.
Russian Federation has taken this as a sign that the USA was planning to attack Syrian military forces as it did in April, following charges that the Syrian airforce used sarin gas in the northwestern rebel-held district of Idlib, something Russian Federation and Syria have denied.
"Since the beginning of operations in Afrin 3393 neutralized the terrorist".
About 350,000 people live in thr town of Afrin, the capital of the Kurdish enclave of the same name. "Soon, we will stomp very strongly on the terrorists there", he said. "I can only say that in response to the request of our Turkish partners to speed up the originally planned delivery terms, we reacted positively", the top Russian diplomat said at a joint press briefing in Moscow after meeting with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
But Turkey, a US ally and fellow NATO Western military alliance member, has objected to Washington's support for Kurdish militias, which Ankara accused of harboring ties to the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
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