Afrin: Turkish forces ‘encircle’ Syrian Kurdish city



Afrin: Turkish forces ‘encircle’ Syrian Kurdish city

Syrian rebel fighters are supporting Turkish troops in the offensive on Afrin

The Turkish military says it has surrounded the Kurdish-held city of Afrin in northern Syria, the focus of an offensive against a Kurdish militia. A statement said troops and allied Syrian rebels had also captured “areas of critical importance” in the surrounding Afrin region.There was no immediate confirmation from local Kurdish officials.The operation aimed at driving the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia out of Afrin began on 20 January.Why is Turkey targeting Kurdish forces?
How Afrin became a prize worth a war
Why the battle for northern Syria matters
Who are the Kurds?
The Turkish government says the YPG is an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in south-eastern Turkey for three decades.
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Media captionAfrin: What is going on in Syria’s other battle?The YPG denies any direct organisational links to the PKK – an assertion backed by the US, which has provided the militia and allied Arab fighters with weapons and air support to help them battle the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

SyriaSyrian civil war