Turkey launched its cross-border operation on January 20 saying it needed to eliminate the Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is backed by the United States, but which Turkey describes as a "terrorist" group.
Turkey's leader has scorched North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over their failure to support his "counter-terrorist" operation in the Kurdish-held Syrian region of Afrin, but expressed gratitude that they at least had no guts to openly oppose Ankara.
"Hey NATO, with what has been going on in Syria, when are you going to come and be alongside us?"
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured. A report in Aljazeera says that residents of Afrin plan on creating a human chain to protect YPG fighters against Turkey's assault on the city.
Turkey has been waging "Operation Olive Branch" against Syria's Afrin region since January 20 in a bid to eliminate the YPG, which forms the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that enjoys USA support.
He said Turkey sent troops to conflict zones when requested, but did not receive support in return.
Erdogan added that a total of 3,300 YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria. Ankara is wary of the presence of Kurdish militants close to its borders in Syria, and has been opposed to Washington's efforts to train and arm them in the Arab country.
"We are advancing toward Afrin [city center]".
The YPG too denies any direct organisational links to Turkey's PKK- an assertion backed by a USA -led coalition whose air strikes have helped the militia and allied Arab fighters drive Islamic State militants out of tens of thousands of square kilometres of Syria.
The recent UNSC resolution, which urged a 30-days Syria-wide ceasefire, has been also used to call upon Erdogan to halt their operations.
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