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Syria slams Turkey 'occupation' of Afrin, demands withdrawal

Ankara and allied rebel groups captured the city from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on Sunday, after a two-month offensive on the broader Afrin region.

Published: 20th March 2018 12:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2018 12:04 AM   |  A+A-

By AFP

DAMASCUS: Syria's foreign ministry on Monday slammed Turkey's takeover of Afrin, demanding it "immediately" pull its forces from the northwestern city.

Ankara and allied rebel groups captured the city from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on Sunday, after a two-month offensive on the broader Afrin region.

The foreign ministry in Damascus sent two letters on Monday to the United Nations, protesting the capture as "illegitimate".

"Syria condemns the Turkish occupation of Afrin and the crimes it is committing there, and demands the invading forces immediately withdraw from the Syrian territory they occupied," the ministry said in its letters, according to state news agency SANA.

"Turkey's behavior and attacks do not only threaten citizens and the unity of Syria's land and people -- they also prolong the war on Syria," it added.

Damascus has repeatedly criticised Turkey for its military operations on Syrian soil, accusing it of supporting "terrorist" groups.

Pro-government militiamen even joined the fight to defend Afrin, dispatched from adjacent regime-held territory in Aleppo province.

Turkey has killed dozens of them.



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