Turkish Forces Take Syrian City Afrin From Kurdish Militia by Sune Engel Rasmussen and Erdem Aydin – Wall Street Journal
Turkish forces have captured the town center of Kurdish-controlled Afrin in northern Syria, Turkey said Sunday, capping a two-month military campaign that has divided Ankara and its international allies.
“The Free Syrian Army, with the support of the Turkish Armed Forces, have gained total control over the Afrin town center,” Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said early Sunday, morning, confirming the capture during a World War I commemoration in Canakkale.
The capture of Afrin followed a siege to the city that displaced more than 200,000 civilians.
Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces entered Afrin from three directions after having encircled it for days. They appear to have encountered little resistance from the Kurdish YPG militia, which has fought the Turks and their allies across the district for nearly two months.
A commander with the Free Syrian Army said Sunday the Kurdish militia retreated from Afrin overnight, which allowed the Turkish-backed forces to capture the city faster than anticipated. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier this month that his government aimed to complete the Afrin operation by May…