Turkish forces 'surround' Syrian Kurdish city

Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters have begun a siege of the Syrian Kurdish-held town of Afrin the

Turkish forces 'surround' Syrian Kurdish city

Speaking in Ankara, the Turkish president was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency that "We have got a little closer to Afrin".

She added: "We all gathered together to call on our British government to condemn Turkey's attack and ask 'why they have allowed him [Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish President] to cross the Syrian border?'"

"Today, as the operation entered its 54th day, nearly 3,500 terrorists have been neutralized and about 1,300 square kilometers of land cleared of terrorists", he said.

"I hope that Afrin will, God willing, have completely fallen by the evening", Mr Erdogan said in the speech.

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But the YPG has been a key ally of the United States in the fight against jihadists in Syria and Turkey's operation against it has raised tensions with Ankara's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in Washington and Europe. The city is the last major population center in Afrin District still controlled by the Kurdish YPG.

Turkey launched its offensive against the YPG on January 20, claiming that Kurdish forces, which it argues are an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), represent a "terrorist" threat to its southern borders.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday warned Turkey that concerns over security "absolutely do not justify" the scale of its offensive in Syria.

The Turkish air strike hit a checkpoint on the road to Afrin, where Turkey is waging an offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia, he said.

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Pro-Turkish forces have seized several border areas and have nearly fully encircled the city of Afrin.

The military also said, "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming any civilians.

The leading military official claimed that the USA would strike under the false pretense of a chemical weapon attack-a tactic that Russian Federation has denied the Syrian military utilizes-and vowed to fight back. "Soon we will bring these down on the heads of the terrorists in the strongest way".

But Turkey, a US ally and fellow NATO Western military alliance member, has objected to Washington's support for Kurdish militias, which Ankara accused of harboring ties to the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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