Free Syrian Army group ‘captures’ Afrin city

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    Turkey and the FSA in January launched an air-and-ground operation into Afrin against the Kurdish fighters there [File: Reuters]

    Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) opposition group have captured the city centre of Afrin in Syria, which was previously controlled by Kurdish fighters, according to the Turkish military forces.

    “The Turkish armed forces and Free Syrian Army have taken the control of Afrin’s city centre,” the Turkish military said in a tweet on Sunday, adding that experts were searching for landmines and other sort of explosive traps in the area.

    The armed forces shared a video in a separate tweet allegedly showing the Turkish flag hoisted in the city centre of Afrin.

    Other videos and photos shared by the Turkish-backed FSA fighters on social media showed them in residential streets, making victory signs and waving flags. Al Jazeera cannot independently confirm their authenticity.

    Turkey – together with the FSA – in January launched a military operation into Afrin in the northwest of Syria to vanquish the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection (YPG) fighters near its border.

    Turkey considers the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria and its armed wing YPG to be “terrorist groups” with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    View the original article: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/free-syrian-army-group-captures-afrin-city-180318081430817.html

    The PKK has waged a decades-long armed fight against the Turkish state that has killed tens of thousands of people.

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