Turkey takes 'total control' of Syria's Afrin, says state media

Tuesday, 27 Mar, 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "communist, traitor youth" tried to disturb a local stand operated by religious and nationalist youth at Istanbul's Bogazici University.

On Monday, students opened a stand distributing candies called "Afrin delight" to commemorate fallen soldiers fighting across the border in Syria's Afrin.

Another group protested against them, holding anti-war banners and chanting slogans such as "the palace wants war, people want peace", in reference to Erdogan's presidential complex. Turkey's official Anadolu Agency said five people suspected of having attacked the student stand were detained.

Erdogan said on Sunday that the Turkish military and allied Syrian forces have taken "total" control of Afrin, a major development in the almost two-months offensive against a Syrian Kurdish militia that controlled the area.

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Ankara has not tolerated criticism of its military offensive on the Kurdish-majority region that has killed dozens of civilians and displaced tens of thousands.

Turkish troops launched a military operation on January 20 to clear terrorist groups from Afrin, which was liberated last week amid growing terror threats posed from the region to Turkey. He added most of those who had left had gone to nearby Tal Rifaat.

The president also urged the United States to transfer control of Syria's Manbij from YPG/PKK terrorist organization to the city's "real owners". The World Health Organization (WHO) said it had deployed mobile medical clinics and health supplies to areas hosting those displaced, AFP reports.

"Children, women, and men have undertaken harrowing journeys to flee Afrin and need urgent health assistance". On that basis, Macron, "in agreement with his Turkish counterpart, wished that in-depth and intensive exchanges will continue in the coming days on Syria, and expressed his will to continue the close dialogue with Turkey on the situation off Cyprus and in the Aegean Sea", the statement said.