‘700,000 trapped in Syrian city of Afrin’ after Turkey and allied fighters surround area


Turkish troops and allied opposition fighters have begun a siege of the Syrian Kurdish-held northern town of Afrin, the Turkish military said on Tuesday.

The military said in a brief statement that the siege of Afrin, the main town in the enclave of the same name, had begun Monday.

It said the military had taken control of “critical areas” of the town but did not provide details.

The UK-based monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights the city of Afrin, 90 villages and a nearby town are now surrounded. 

Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said the only road out of the area was in range of Turkish fire, and was therefore impassable.

Syrian civilians ride their cars through Ain Dara in Syria’s northern Afrin region as they flee Afrin Credit: AFP

He said 700,000 people were now under siege. Thousands of people had started to flee Afrin on Monday as the Turkish troops got closer to the town, heading toward nearby government-controlled areas.

Turkey launched a military offensive into the border enclave on Jan. 20 to drive out Syrian Kurdish forces that it considers to be “terrorists” and an extension of Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey.

More to follow…

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