Syrian Kurds Deny Turkey's Claim Afrin Is Surrounded


Presently, the Turkish Armed Forces and the Free Syrian Army are preparing to attack Mabatly settlement.

Turkish forces have reached the outskirts of the town of Afrin after a weeks-long campaign against a Kurdish militia in northwest Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitoring group said on Saturday.

He added that Turkey will help Afrin to rebuild and fix, including its electricity, water, education, and healthcare systems, just like it did in Jarablus, Ar-rai, Azaz and Al-Bab, after clearing these Syrian cities of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) miliants during Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield.

Ankara considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters "terrorists" and allied with Kurdish insurgents fighting inside Turkey.

Speaking to Kurdistan 24 during a live broadcast interview from Qamishlo, YPG Spokesperson Nuri Mahmoud dismissed recent threats by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his army's advance into other areas of Rojava.

The town of Manbij, east of Afrin, is considered a key flashpoint in any future conflict due to the USA military presence in the area.

On a visit to Ankara last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Turkey and the US had to solve the tensions surrounding Manbij as a "priority".

The YPG, the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, is considered a "terrorist group" by Turkey.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in January, its second military intervention in Syria since 2011, after Washington said it would set up a border force comprising 30,000 Kurdish militants near Turkish soil.

"Olive Branch" initially made slow progress, but the capture on Thursday of Jandairis, a major town in the Kurdish-held enclave, has given the operation a clear shot at the central town of Afrin.

The Syrian government has already condemned the "brutal Turkish aggression" against Afrin, rejecting Ankara's claim about having informed Damascus of the operation.

The US forces in Manbij have recently resisted Turkey's calls for them to leave the area.