Syria's Afrin under 'total' control, says Turkish President Erdogan

WION Web Team
Istanbul, Turkey Published: Mar 18, 2018, 08:25 AM(IST)

A spokesperson for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel fighters earlier said that the rebel fighters had taken control of parts of Afrin on Sunday after Kurdish YPG forces pulled out. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Supported by FSA rebel factions, Turkey launched its military offensive against the Kurdish YPG forces in Afrin on January 20

Turkish president Erdogan said today that the Syrian town of Afrin was under "total" control of the Turkish-backed Syria rebel fighters.

A spokesperson for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel fighters earlier said that the rebel fighters had taken control of parts of Afrin on Sunday after Kurdish YPG forces pulled out.

Mohammad al-Hamadeen said the fighters entered Afrin shortly before dawn, from the north, east and west of the town, and had not encountered any resistance.

"They have taken control of parts of the town," Hamadeen told Reuters. "They are combing the streets and the houses".

Supported by FSA rebel factions, Turkey launched its military offensive against the Kurdish YPG forces in Afrin on January 20.

Ankara says the YPG is an extension of a Kurdish militant group which has been waging an insurgency in southeast Turkey since the 1980s.

More than 1,500 Kurdish fighters have been killed in the two-month assault in Afrin, a monitor said Sunday.

Most of them were killed in air strikes and artillery fire, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

More than 150,000 people have been displaced in the last few days from Afrin town, a senior Kurdish official and a monitoring group said on Saturday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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