Turkey Wants Afrin Offensive to End by May, Takes Control of Jinderes

NATO intends to restrict Turkey's Olive Branch

Turkey Wants Afrin Offensive to End by May, Takes Control of Jinderes

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.

According to him, deployment of YPG militants to north-western Syria is being held under control of the United States military in the region.

"The operations in Afrin will continue until this swamp of terror is dried", he warned.

Turkey on January 20 launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

Turkey has warned that the Afrin offensive could expand to the nearby Syrian city of Manbij.

The US forces in Manbij have recently resisted Turkey's calls for them to leave the area. Ankara considers the YPG to be a Syrian extension of the PKK.

On March 8, Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies seized control of the town of Jinderes, state media reported, giving them control of one of the largest settlements in the Afrin district.

The foreign minister said "Operation Olive Branch" in Syria's Afrin against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) group may end by May.

Erdogan noted that a total of 815 square kilometers (506 square miles) have been liberated from the terrorists so far.

Turkey has battled a decades-old insurgency in its mainly Kurdish southeast and sees the Syrian Kurdish group a growing power on its southern border threatening Turkish security.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on worldwide law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

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