Turkey tightens grip on Syrian Kurdish enclave

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Turkey tightens grip on Syrian Kurdish enclave

Canikli further said that 116 members of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) militant group, which has joined Turkish troops in their campaign against members of the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG).

Turkish troops and Turkey-backed opposition fighters have operated in Afrin since January 20 against Syrian Kurdish fighters.

This is while USA officials regard the YPG as the most effective fighting force against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support to the group.

The Turkish General Staff has said the Afrin operation is aimed at establishing security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as protecting Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty. The Bulbul district was the first.

The towns of Rajo and Jinders are considered to be of strategic importance for the success of the Turkish operation, as they are located on the major roads leading to Afrin.

The military also said, "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming any civilians.

The Observatory says Turkish-led forces control more than 20 per cent of the enclave after seizing the area of Rajo in the northwest of Afrin today.

The YPG has been an important ally for the United States in the fight against Islamic State.

Merkel's office said the two agreed on the need for Syrian government forces and their Russian and Iranian allies to abide by a United Nations cease-fire.

Near the Syrian capital, Damascus, a five-hour daily truce was in effect on Friday, for the fourth day this week, but no civilians left the city's rebel-held suburbs known as eastern Ghouta.

The previous day was one of the deadliest for the Turkish army since the beginning of its attempted invasion.

Macron and Trump agreed to "work together" for the implementation of the U.N. Security Council resolution that also calls for the transport of humanitarian aid and the evacuation of the injured and sick.

Syrian State TV meanwhile said Saturday that two children managed to escape from the region under gunfire from the rebels, who control eastern Ghouta. An elderly Pakistani couple has managed to leave after negotiations.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Syrian Civil Defense said six civilians were killed Saturday in government bombings in eastern Ghouta, AP reported.

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