Erdogan hopes Afrin to be captured by Wednesday evening


Erdogan also said civilians in Afrin town were being escorted in cars through an evacuation corridor, as Turkish forces made substantial advances against Kurdish fighters in their almost two-month-old offensive.

As it intensifies its offensive on Afrin, Ankara is seeking to get the Trump administration to order the withdrawal of YPG militants and their United States military trainers and advisors from the northern Syrian town of Manbij.

The U.N. office for humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said the fighting has forced thousands of people to flee their homes within the Afrin region and towards government territory. Various forms of forcible transfer of populations, especially of ethnic or religious groups, are considered war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

The leading military official claimed that the US would strike under the false pretense of a chemical weapon attack-a tactic that Russian Federation has denied the Syrian military utilizes-and vowed to fight back.

Turkey launched operation "Olive Branch" in January to clear the YPG from the Afrin enclave.

Turkey's president said on Wednesday he hopes the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin would be captured "by this evening".

Turkey regards the YPG as a terror group and a branch of a Kurdish militant movement in Turkey that has waged an insurgency for decades. The conflict has torn the country apart.

That's clearly a game-changer, as the USA has previously believed that they could carry out the occasional attack against Syrian military targets with impunity. Russian Federation and Iran have been strong backers of Assad, helping him in his bid to regain control of territories. The broadcaster said 25 people were evacuated. But with eastern Ghouta split in two and areas isolated, not all the patients can access the crossing. "The water supply has been cut off", OCHA said.

He spoke on condition of anonymity out of safety concerns.

Eastern Ghouta is larger and more populated, with some 400,000 people believed to be living there, trapped under a relentless air and ground bombardment and a crippling years-long siege. It reported that 43 Turkish troops have been killed and 156 were injured in the Afrin offensive. "Everyone is very scared of what's coming now that the Turkish occupying forces are getting closer to the town's center", said resident Serbest Hassan.