Turkish military says it has encircled city of Afrin

Postado Março 14, 2018

"As a result of "operation Olive branch" March 12, began the siege of the Syrian city of Afrin", - said in the message.

The Turkish offensive opened a new front in a multi-sided civil war which enters its eighth year tomorrow.

The blocking stated in the command of the Turkish Armed forces.

In a statement yesterday, the Turkish military said it had completed the encirclement of the city of Afrin, home to some 350,000 people and defended by a well-armed Syrian Kurdish militia, the People's Protection Units (YPG). The military provided no further details.

According to Anadolu Agency correspondents in the field, the villages of Maghar Juqq and Darmashkanli in Shaykh al-Hadid district, located west of Afrin, were cleared of YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists.

The surrounding of Afrin city would be a key step in Turkey's "Olive Branch" operation, launched on January 20 and aimed at ousting the YPG, a key partner of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, reported AFP.

Washington has provided the Syrian Kurdish fighters with arms, training and air support in the past, angering Ankara which has demanded that its ally halt its support if it wants to cooperate in the region. In addition to Turkish forces being around the city, they are also said to be shelling all roads leading into Afrin, preventing any reinforcements getting in the city to resist Turkey's invasion.

It remains unclear what Turkey's next move will be, with some analysts suggesting it will be content to lay siege to Afrin for some time and allow civilians to leave to avoid a high-casualty offensive.