Feb 26 2018

Afrin militants cut off from border - Turkish state media

The Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency has published a report on Turkey’s military incursion into the northwest Syrian area of Afrin, Operation Olive Branch, reporting that the Turkish armed forces have completely cut lines of communication between the Turkish border and their opponents in Afrin.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to combat forces from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Turkey considers both Syrian Kurdish organisations to be extensions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an organisation that has been in conflict with Turkish armed forces since launching an insurgency aimed at Kurdish independence in the mid-1980s.

According to Anadolu’s report, the Turkish Armed Forces have gained control over a “crescent” running all the way along the borderline that separates the Turkish provinces of Hatay and Kilis from the Syrian enclave of Afrin.

 

Olive Branch

The gains were made by capturing 115 strategic points, including 87 villages, according to Anadolu’s news report. Turkish police and gendarmerie special forces units have reportedly been deployed in these areas.

Anadolu reported that over 2000 of Turkey’s opponents from the YPG have been killed since fighting began.

The state news agency also said that 845 people have been detained in Turkey for “spreading terrorist propaganda” in relation to the military operation via social media.