By Janet Ekstract March 18, 2018
ANKARA/NEW YORK – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Sunday that Turkish Armed Forces in coordination with The Free Syrian Army were able to regain control over the northwest town of Afrin, in Syria.
The takeover comes amid what was a two-month military campaign that had been the source of major tensions between the Turkish government and its international allies. More than 200,000 civilians were displaced when the city was first under siege, according to activists in Syria and various reports from organizations in Syria.
The Turkish President confirmed the capture of Afrin during the World War One Commemoration ceremony in Canakkale.
According to a commander with the Free Syrian Army, YPG/PKK terrorists put up little resistance, retreating from the city overnight.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the press earlier in March that Turkey had planned to complete the Afrin operation no later than May. Now Turkey controls seven main towns in the Afrin enclave.
The goal was to create a buffer zone between the Turkish border and the YPG/PKK terrorists. Turkey is now prepared to extend its offensive to other regions in Syria where U.S. forces are stationed with the YPG against Daesh.
President Erdogan emphasized: “Whatever we have done in Jarablus, Al-Bab and Azez before, we will now do the same in Afrin and its settlements. 140,000 people returned to their homes in Jarablus and now our sisters and brothers from Afrin will return to Afrin.”
Turkish Armed Forces made the statement that troops are currently searching for mines and improvised explosive devices in the streets.