Civilians leave Syria's Afrin ahead of possible Turkish anti-terror operation

Published 16.01.2018 22:55
Updated 17.01.2018 10:38

Ahead of a possible Turkish military operation against the terrorist PYD/PKK in Afrin, northern Syria, along Turkey's border, some civilians are leaving the district.

According to information Anadolu Agency gathered from reliable sources, families taking a small number of belongings with them were seen leaving the district with their vehicles Tuesday evening.

Dozens of vehicles were seen exiting the district and heading north of the Aleppo city center, an area controlled by the Assad regime.

Local sources said that the streets grew emptier, with tension rising in the district amid expectation Turkey might launch a military operation against terrorist organization targets in the region.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said Turkey is ready "at any moment" to start an operation in the besieged border area of Syria.

Erdoğan reiterated Tuesday Turkey's readiness to conduct anti-terror operations in Afrin and Manbij, saying Turkey "shortly will root out all terror nests in Syria" starting with the PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG)-held areas.

The president also expressed doubt that the U.S. plan to form a 30,000-strong army led by terrorist PKK's Syrian affiliates in northern Syria would boost border security, saying that even the Assad regime did not "lean toward" the initiative.

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