Syrian SDF accuses Ankara of ethnic cleansing in Afrin, Turkey denies

Syrian SDF accuses Ankara of ethnic cleansing in Afrin, Turkey denies

The Turkish forces, who had been looking to complete the encirclement in a two-pronged movement from the east and the west, had Afrin surrounded yesterday, the army said in a statement quoted by state media, without giving further details.

According to the official, one of the issues is the US supplying weapons to Kurdish groups in Syria.

The UK-based NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Turkish forces and their Syrian militia allies have effectively encircled an estimated 700,000 people in Afrin and nearby areas.

One Turkish soldier was killed while another was injured in Syria's northwestern Afrin district as the Turkish-led "Operation Olive Branch" continues, the military said on March 12.

The Syrian government and the Russian military have set up a corridor outside eastern Ghouta to arrange the evacuation from the area which is home to some 400,000 people.

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On Jan. 20, Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" to clear YPG militants from Afrin.

In an effort to reduce tensions, Turkey and the United States announced the establishment of "working groups" to tackle some of the most contentious issues, including the YPG presence in the SDF.

Azad Mohamed, a 32-year old resident, said his relatives were fired upon as they tried to escape Monday, forcing them to turn back.

A truck bearing electronic billboards, rented by the terrorist group's supporters who gathered to protest in front of the United Nations headquarters in NY, drove around the city's streets with images captured by Turkey's official Anadolu Agency in Aleppo in 2016, at the height of Assad regime attacks to recapture the country's once-largest city after it was divided in two between regime and opposition forces in early 2012.

Medical evacuations of sick and wounded patients from Eastern Ghouta began on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

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Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have meanwhile been pressing an assault to retake the opposition-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, the last major rebel stronghold near to Damascus.

Russian news agencies say at least 100 civilians have been evacuated from a rebel-held enclave outside the Syrian capital.

The army said three PKK militants were neutralized.

The rebel faction controlling Eastern Ghouta's main town of Douma, Jaish al-Islam, said a group of "critical medical cases" would be evacuated on Tuesday though the Wafideen checkpoint at the edge of the enclave.

Opposition forces have denied holding talks with the regime.

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