Turkish army surrounds Syrian city of Afrin


Since the launch of the operation, the Turkish military and Free Syrian Army fighters have liberated 233 locations, including five town centers, 194 villages, 39 strategic mountains and hills, and one YPG/PKK base.

The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said the Turkish army took control of the dam on Maydanki lake and a water pumping station last week.

"We urge Russian Federation to stop creating distractions and compel the Assad regime to stop brutalizing innocent Syrian citizens and allow much-needed aid to reach the people of East Ghouta and other remote areas", Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. Various forms of forcible transfer of populations, especially of ethnic or religious groups, are considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Gerasimov's blunt warning the next day that American forces will be directly attacked if they threaten Russian personnel follows the USA air strikes in February that killed dozens, and possibly more than 100 Russian military contractors working with the Syrian government.

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The video [at the time 2:40] shows a militant accusing Kurdish forces elsewhere in Syria of seizing Arab villages, saying they "removed [Arab] residents and put them in camps".

Afrin city is the key target in Turkey's seven-week operation Olive Branch launched on January 20 and aimed at ousting the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from the Afrin region of northern Syria.

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?'"

Turkey regards the YPG as a terror group and a branch of a Kurdish militant movement in Turkey that has waged an insurgency for decades.

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Meanwhile, thousands of people were fleeing the northwestern town of Afrin as Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition fighters moved closer to completely encircling it. The conflict has torn the country apart.

During the Syrian army's offensive in eastern Ghouta, more than 1,100 civilians have died, the U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs said. Russian Federation and Iran have been strong backers of Assad, helping him in his bid to regain control of territories. At least two ambulances and a bus brought patients and their families.

He spoke on condition of anonymity out of safety concerns.

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