Turkey wants Afrin offensive to end by May

Over 3,000 terrorists 'neutralized' in Afrin operation

Turkey, Iraqi central govt to carry out joint operation against Kurdish militants in Baghdad

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's goals are unclear: the Kurds control a wide swath of northern Syria, and his ambitions may be tempered by the possibility of reigniting a full-blown Kurdish insurgency inside his own country.

"Now our objective is Afrin".

"Once we have purged the terrorists (from Afrin) we will then cleanse them from Manbij, Ayn al-Arab (Kobane), Tel-Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli", he said in televised comments.

Later on Saturday, four more villages - the villages of Kafr Rum and Qurt Qulaq in the northeastern Sharan district, Zellaka in the southwestern Jinderes district, and Kfar Zeit in Afrin's city center - were liberated by the Turkish military and FSA forces.

"Right now, Afrin city centre is surrounded".

Erdogan also said that a total of 3,171 terrorists have been "neutralised" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria. "We are in Afrin today, we will be in Manbij tomorrow".

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He promised to accord special status to the State if his party is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019. However, in January this year, the state government modified the request and demanded the money through NABARD.


Erdogan questioned why North Atlantic Treaty Organisation had not come to Turkey s aid in its Syria operation when Ankara had backed critical alliance campaigns worldwide. Ankara claimed that its military campaign was aimed at pushing the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group from Turkey's border with Syria and stopping the advance of Kurdish militia, who were themselves fighting Daesh.

Manbij is regarded as a particularly delicate issue as the United States - unlike in Afrin - has a presence there, raising the prospect of a direct clash with Turkey.

It has been listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. Turkey sees the YPG as a "terrorist" group.

Tensions between the USA and Turkey has escalated as a result of the operation, with Ankara accusing Washington of leaving pockets of Daesh militants in Syria intact to justify continued cooperation with Kurdish forces in the country.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has announced time for completing the Olive Branch operation in the Syrian Afrin.

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