Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey-backed troops had surrounded Afrin city center in northwestern Syria and were ready to enter at any moment as part of the so-called Olive Branch operation.
“Right now, Afrin city center is surrounded,” Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying at the inauguration of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s Politics Academy in Ankara.
He added that a total of 3,171 militants have been “neutralized” in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in January, its second military intervention in Syria since 2011, after Washington said it would set up a border force comprising 30,000 Kurdish militants near Turkish soil.
Turkey has warned that the Afrin offensive could expand to the nearby Syrian city of Manbij.
Syria has slammed both Turkish and US military activities on its soil as a violation of the Arab nation’s sovereignty.