Syrian Kurds Deny Turkey's Claim Afrin Is Surrounded

Turkey finds proof of YPG  PKK using children for terror

The advances of the Turkish troops and Turkish-backed forces on the ground was backed up by airstrikes from Turkish warplanes which targeted frontline areas as well as Afrin city itself.

Turkish forces took over the town of Jindires in southern Afrin on Thursday, removing a major obstacle on the road to Afrin's largest urban center.

It further said that the Turkish army and their allied militant groups have suffered heavy casualties in clashes with Kurds near the town of Afrin, Shera, Jandaris and Bolboleh regions.

"Those who directed Daesh against us yesterday, are today doing the same thing with the Syrian branches of the PKK, the PYD and YPG".

The operation's media branch on Saturday said their new push had left Afrin's eastern side "exposed" to advancing fighters.

Manbij, the next main YPG-held town east of Afrin, is a particular flashpoint as it has an American military presence there. "The next day we will ensure that terrorists are cleared from the east of the Euphrates (River) till the Iraqi border", Erdogan said.

The assault on Afrin is part of Operation Olive Branch, a Turkish military offensive to oust Kurdish fighters in northwestern Syria.

During the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson's visit to Turkey on February 15-16, three mechanisms were established between Ankara and Washington with a view to contributing to normalizing bilateral relations and overcoming issues related to Syria, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and Iraq.

The YPG, the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, is considered a "terrorist group" by Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey would complete the Afrin offensive by May and carry out a joint operation with Iraq's central government against Kurdish militants in Iraq.

Relations between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies United States and Turkey have been strained over a number of issues, notably the U.S. arming of the YPG.

"This is an introductory meeting where we can start to hopefully work out some of these issues", Nauert added.

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