Turkish FM: Afrin operation to be completed by May

Turkey finds proof of YPG  PKK using children for terror

Erdogan presented Afrin itself as the last real obstacle to taking the Kurdish district and placing it under the control of Turkish-backed rebels.

Speaking to Kurdistan 24 during a live broadcast interview from Qamishlo, YPG Spokesperson Nuri Mahmoud dismissed recent threats by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about his army's advance into other areas of Rojava.

The State Department spokesperson on Thursday said talks between Turkish and American officials have begun in the US capital and many issues will be discussed including Syria and Turkey's ongoing operation in Afrin.

"Today, there were also clashes around Bulbul, where they announced around 30 days ago that they captured, occupied it", he said.

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The operation's media branch on Saturday said their new push had left Afrin's eastern side "exposed" to advancing fighters.

On Jan. 20, the Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Free Syrian Army, launched the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria. As of now, we have Afrin encircled.

Erdogan reiterated Turkey's resolve to advance to Manbij - a region east of Afrin, where the US has a military presence - and other Syrian Kurdish held locations east of the Euphrates river, once the offensive on the enclave is completed.

On a visit to Ankara last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Turkey and the US had to solve the tensions surrounding Manbij as a "priority".

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Ankara's offensive on the Kurdish-held enclave in northwestern Syria is now in its 48th day as Erdogan vows to increase the operation beyond Afrin.

According to Turkish officials, the primary agenda of the committee on Syria is Turkey's demand of clearing the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units' (YPG) from Manbij that lies to the west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

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

"This is an introductory meeting where we can start to hopefully work out some of these issues", Nauert added.

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