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Turkish army retrieves weapons supplied by US to YPG in Afrin

March 20, 2018 at 11:35 am

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bekir Bozdag gives a speech during a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on 22 January 2018 [Emre Şenoğlu/Anadolu Agency]

Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said yesterday that the Turkish army has collected weapons supplied by the United States to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) – an organisation designated by Ankara as terrorist – in the countryside of Afrin, Syria.

Bozdağ said that Turkey does not intend to stay in Afrin: “our goal is to cleanse it of terrorists and to restore security then hand it over to its original owners.”

The Turkish army, along with fighters from the Free Syrian Army, took control on Sunday of the town of Afrin, northwest of Syria, after eight weeks of a military campaign dubbed Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish fighters who have been the US main ally against Daesh.

Human Rights Watch have condemned the Turkish offensive in Afrin which has displaced over 150,000 people.

Read: Erdogan says Turkey may extend Afrin campaign along whole Syrian border