Turkey, Iraq plan joint offensive against Kurdish rebels

Turkey, Iraq plan joint offensive against Kurdish rebels

Turkey, Iraq plan joint offensive against Kurdish rebels

The Kurdish YPG is contesting this claim, however, with YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud saying that the Turks are more like 10 to 15 km away from Afrin, and that they definitely do not have the city surrounded.

The move came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his troops and the Syrian fighters they were backing could break into the Kurdish-controlled town "at any moment".

"We have established working groups for that", Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit on Friday.

The monitor says at least 370 YPG fighters and 340 rebel fighters have died since the assault began. "So hopefully, we can make some headway at that level today".

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union, waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the death of almost 40,000 people, including women and children.

Turkey, Iraq plan joint offensive against Kurdish rebels
Turkey, Iraq plan joint offensive against Kurdish rebels

"We've been persecuted [by the YPG/PKK terrorists]".

Turkish troops launched an offensive on January 20 in Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats posed from the region to Turkey. So far the operation is believed to have taken control of captured 157 locations, including five town centres, 122 villages, 30 strategic areas, and one YPG base.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

When questioned as to what would happen if the Afrin operation did not end by May, Cavusoglu assured that Turkey was capable of conducting two campaigns simultaneously.

Erdogan said in the initial phase 2,000 square kilometres (772.2 square miles) will be taken into control.

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