In the latest development in the fight to control Syria or parts of it, Turkey has attacked swathes of villages in the Afrin region of Syria that border it. Ankara has intensified its offensive in the Afrin region on its border, aiming to drive out the Syrian Kurdish YPG militias that control it. Turkey sees the Kurdish militia controlling Afrin as an extension of the banned PKK (kurdish) group that has fought a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey.
At least 3,347 terrorists have been "neutralized" in Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin, the Turkish military said Monday.
Erdogan added that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would even go up against Operation Olive Branch if it had the courage to. "Once Afrin is captured, it will be delivered to its true owners", said Erdoğan.
Turkey Says Its Forces Encircle Kurdish-Held Afrin In Northern Syria
Managing alliances in Syria has always been a struggle for the U.S., as underscored by how often two US-armed allies end up directly fighting one another.
In mid-February, Turkey marked 66 years of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership. "Turkey will fight terrorists anywhere they operate", Erdogan said, once again promising new military operations in Syria, including in the areas held by the US-backed Kurdish-led militias.
Under NATO charter, an attack on one of the alliance's members is an attack on them all.
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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members not only show no support towards Turkey's Operation Olive Branch and would even openly oppose Ankara's actions in Syria, but did not have the guts to do so, Erdogan claimed.
Speaking at the 6th provincial congress of AK Party in western Sakarya province, Erdogan reiterated Turkey did not wish to invade Afrin.
He added that PKK terrorists in Iraq's Qandil mountain had given weapons to 14- or 15-year-old children and were teaching them how to kill people.
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The Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) liberated five more villages in Syria's northwestern Afrin region on Sunday.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and in the region as well as to protect Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The military also said only terror targets were being destroyed and "utmost care" was being taken to not harm civilians.
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