Turkish forces only 4 km away from Syria's Afrin city: watchdog

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Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels battling Kurdish militia in northern Syria advanced on Saturday to within just a few kilometers of the flash point town of Afrin, a war monitor said.

The US proposal to establish a permanent 30,000 strong force on the Turkish-Syrian border prompted the military offensive "Operation Olive Branch" to launch in the north of Syria earlier this year. Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). "The next day we will ensure that the east of Euphrates will be cleared of terrorists up to the Iraqi border", he said.

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

"Then we will also clear Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tal Abyad, Resulayn and Kamisli of terrorists, Erdogan added, naming other Syria cities near Turkey's borders".

"We have besieged Afrin".

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

TAF 3,055 terrorists 'neutralized' in Afrin operation
Turkish forces only 4 km away from Syria's Afrin city: watchdog

"To date 850 square kilometers have been taken under our control".

The word "neutralised" is used to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

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

Turkish public opinion in favour of the USA is low according to a poll published yesterday by the Centre for American Progress, which found 83 per cent of Turks view America unfavourably and 46 per cent believe the country should do more to confront it.

Turkey launched the assault into the enclave on January 20 to drive out Syrian Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers to be a security threat due to their links to outlawed rebels in Turkey.

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