Afrin day 10: "557 terrorists killed", Turkish Armed Forces announce

All updates about the eleventh day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.

14.42 Erdoğan's range of vision extended by Afrin incursion

However confusing the military objectives of Turkey’s incursion into the Kurdish-held Syrian enclave of Afrin may be, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s long-term strategy to capitalise domestically on the offensive is crystal clear.

The idea is to establish the need for the 'continuity' of his leadership.

12.54 U.S. alliance with Syrian Kurds “a self-inflicted error” – Turkish FM

The United States will eventually realise it has made a mistake by backing Kurdish rebels in northern Syria, but Turkey needs to take action to protect itself before that mistake is widely understood, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote in the New York Times.

“American reliance on the People’s Protection Units (YPG) is a self-inflicted error when the United States already has a capable partner in Turkey,” Çavuşoğlu said.

12.15 Turkey’s Erdoğan told Trump he would invade Manbij - columnist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that he had informed U.S. President Donald Trump that he would soon be invading the Syrian region of Manbij, Hürriyet columnist and palace insider Abdulkadir Selvi wrote .

Pointing to a map with a laser pointer, Erdoğan told a meeting of mayors affiliated with his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of his plans to expand Turkish control over northern Syria, Selvi said.

11.54 “True victims” of Turkish bombing in Afrin are civilians - Fisk

Veteran Middle East columnist Robert Fisk reported from a hospital in the besieged Syrian enclave of Afrin that many of the victims of Turkish air strikes are ordinary civilians, including children and refugees.

“You should see the dead when they come in – and the state of the wounded with the blood on them,” he quoted Jawan Palot, director of the Afrin Hospital, as saying.

11.41 Turkey: the view from the Arab media

As Turkey’s military operation in the northwestern Syrian enclave of Afrin came to the end of its first week, much of the Arabic-language media’s focus on Turkey has been on this assault, including interviews revealing the human cost of the fighting.

Meanwhile, Egyptian news has reported that suspects in two assassination attempts on the Egyptian president have been active in Turkey.

11.23 U.S. needs Turkey-Kurdish rapprochement to sustain Syria policy – ex-envoy

The United States should foster a rapprochement between Turkey and Syria’s Kurds so that it can sustain its policy toward Syria, including the U.S. military presence there, according to James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, and David Pollock

Turkey and the United States share crucial common goals -- getting rid of President Bashar Assad, creating a united Syria under UN auspices, reducing Iran’s influence and ensuring Syria’s neighbours are kept secure from threats, Jeffrey and Pollock said.

10.48 Turkish Interior Ministry announce 311 detained over Afrin social media posts

The number of people who have been detained over "terrorist propaganda" in social media posts relating to Afrin has risen to 311, according to Turkey's Interior Ministry.

10.42 U.S. needs Russian support in Syria - analysis

Hostilities in Syria are working to Russia’s advantage as the Kurds, under attack from Turkey, turn to Damascus for help, Simon Speakman Cordall wrote in the Arab Weekly.

Kurdish forces in Afrin are publicly calling on the Syrian government to intervene and stop Turkey’s assault.

10.05 Turkey’s economy can handle protracted Afrin conflict

Turkey’s economy and financial markets can probably withstand a protracted war between the Turkish army and Syrian Kurdish fighters in Afrin.

Investors were surprisingly sanguine this week as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan carried out a threat to send troops into northern Syria, flouting the wishes of NATO ally the United States.

10.02 Turkish soldiers killed in probable suicide attack – report

A female Kurdish militant belonging to the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) blew up a tank and killed several Turkish soldiers in what appeared to be a suicide bombing, the New York Times reported, citing the organisation.

The newspaper said it would be the first such attack by the Kurds in Syria since Turkey crossed the border just over a week ago.

08.43 Former Hezbollah leader praises Turkey's role in Syria

Subhi al-Tufayli, who was the leader of the Shia militant movement Hezbollah between 1989–1991, has praised Turkey's Syrian policies.

"Turkey is the only country that cares about Syria's security and unity and its foreign policy is in accordance with the expectations and will of the Syrian people,” he told Turkey's state Anadolu Agency.

01.45 "557 terrorists neutralised" - Turkish Armed Forces

In a statement released to the press, the Turkish Armed Forces said that 73 members of Kurdish terror groups and the Islamic State (ISIS) had been killed in the course of Operation Olive Branch in the northern Syrian province of Afrin on Sunday.

This, it said, brought the total number of terrorists killed in the operation up to 557.


(All times Turkish)

All updates about the ninth day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.