Turkey, Free Syrian Army make advances in Afrin

Salih Muslum

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation over its refusal to aid Ankara in its anti-terror operations in Syria's northwestern region of Afrin.

People in Syria and out have reportedly offered to stand between the YPG and Turkish forces set to storm the city. The operation was not to "occupy" but "liberate", he said, and then hand over to local residents.

Washington has repeatedly called upon Turkey to stop its "aggression" against the Afrin region, omitting the fact that the US-led coalition itself spent years in Syria without any invitation from the government or global approval.

"Hey NATO, with what has been going on in Syria, when are you going to come and be alongside us?"

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

Now, the city's population is also suffering from water and electricity shortages, as the Turkish military seized the Midanki Dam, which provides these basic needs to Afrin and its surroundings. "Turkey will fight terrorists anywhere they operate", Erdogan said, once again promising new military operations in Syria, including in the areas held by the US-backed Kurdish-led militias.

Several people in Germany were left injured after police used pepper spray against some demonstrators opposed to Turkey's ongoing military operation "Olive Branch" against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's Afrin region.

On Saturday, global activists and Kurdish communities in foreign countries marched and protested against what they called the Turkish aggression against Afrin and European arms trade with Turkey.

A total of 7,858 people were also detained over the week, while trying to cross the Turkish borders illegally.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mohamed Rashid, a spokesman for Jaish al-Nasr, a group fighting under the Free Syrian Army umbrella, said that work to clear mines and explosives continue to ensure civilians can return safely to their homes.

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