Turkey delivers 30 tonnes of aid during Afrin operation in Syria

39;Civilians cultural sites inviolable for Turkish army

The Turkish troops and Free Syrian Army fighters took control of the Afrin town center early on Sunday as part of Operation Olive Branch, which was launched on January 20 to clear the area of YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists. Tearing down a Kurdish statue in the town centre doesn't augur well. But residents continued to leave after widespread reports of looting.

The YPG has been Washington's main ally against Islamic State in Syria, in a partnership that has infuriated Turkey which sees the Kurdish force as an extension of a militant group waging a decades-long insurgency in its own southeast.

One of the important reasons behind the success of Turkish Armed Forces during the Operation Olive Branch is the strategic intelligence that they used successfully in the field, Agar said.

"After this, we will continue now to Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tel Abyad, Ras al-Ain and Qamishli until this corridor is fully removed", he said, referring to a string of towns along Syria's border region with Turkey.

Turkey said the operation could move on to other Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria.

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels walk past a burning shop in the city of Afrin on March 18.

"Syria condemns the Turkish occupation of Afrin and the crimes it is committing there, and demands the invading forces immediately withdraw from the Syrian territory they occupied", the ministry said in its letters, according to the Syrian official news agency SANA.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU.

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He also evoked a possible operation against PKK camps in Iraq's Sinjar region, saying this could come any time.

Turkish authorities in recent weeks have been in talks with the Iraqi government about coordinating a response to the PKK in northern Iraq. Operation Olive Branch is a counter-terrorism operation. "As far as people in Afrin are concerned, many had to flee because of the oppression they were facing under PYD/YPG rule".

"... Some members of PKK are now laying down their weapons and maintaining their presence in Afrin", he said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called for greater access to the civilian population of Afrin.

Turkey has strongly protested, pointing to the YPG/PKK as the Syrian branch of the PKK, a terrorist group also recognized by the US and European Union which has taken some 40,000 lives in Turkey, including those of women and children.

Since then it has distributed more than 30 tonnes of food aid and 8,267 bottles of water, along with hygiene kits, blankets, and clothing to 22 areas.

The Afrin campaign was Turkey's second cross-border operation into Syria during the seven-year-old civil war.

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