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14 March 2018, 10:33 | Devin Moran
Erdogan: Afrin town should be in our hands by this evening
Turkish military chiefs on Tuesday said they had "neutralised" 3,400 "terrorists" since launching "Olive Branch" in January. "Of the Turkish armed forces continue to conduct air and ground operations", - stated in the message. "If they do encircle the city, we will be ready for a long fight".
Lavrov said that Russian Federation believes the United States coalition isn't very interested in eliminating the remnants of terrorism; rather it wants to preserve terrorists to use them against the Syrian government, as the Eastern Ghouta is the optimal location to harm the capital Damascus and thereby set the stage for Washington's plan of dividing Syria.
Ankara launched an offensive almost two months ago against the town, to drive out Syrian Kurdish forces that control the northern region near Turkey's border.
According to Bekir Bozdag on Monday, deputy prime minister and government spokesperson, the operation has liberated a total of 1,102 square kilometers from the terrorist threat. More than 1,100 people have been killed since the large-scale government offensive began on February 18.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on global law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defence rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
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?'"
The General Staff of Turkey announced on March 13 about complete encirclement of Afrin by the Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army.
Speaking to reporters on a flight to Moscow yesterday, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Cavusoglu said that Turkey and the USA would decide on a plan to "safeguard" Manbij during talks between himself and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 19.
Redur Xelil, head of foreign relations for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), of which the Kurdish YPG forces are the leading component, said in an online statement that Turkey was conducting a policy of intentional demographic change in Afrin.
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