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World Turkish forces 'encircle' Syria's Afrin

11:06  13 march  2018
11:06  13 march  2018 Source:   bbc.com

Turkey riot police break up women's rights march

  Turkey riot police break up women's rights march Turkish police on Sunday fired tear gas to break up a women's rights march in Ankara with some 15 protesters reportedly detained. The protesters, mainly from the Ankara Women's Platform, a NGO promoting women's rights, had gathered in the Turkish capital for the march called ahead of International Women's Day on March 8."We are getting stronger in solidarity," read one banner as riot police moved in and fired tear gas after the group ignored calls to disperse, AFP photographers at the scene said.Fifteen women were detained by police, the private Dogan News Agency reported.

Turkish-backed Syrian rebel fighters in Maryamayn, in the eastern Afrin region (11 March 2018): Syrian rebel fighters are supporting Turkish troops in the offensive on Afrin © Reuters Syrian rebel fighters are supporting Turkish troops in the offensive on Afrin

The Turkish military says it has surrounded the Kurdish-held city of Afrin in northern Syria, the focus of an offensive against a Kurdish militia.

A statement said troops and allied Syrian rebels had also captured "areas of critical importance" in the surrounding Afrin region.

There was no immediate confirmation from local Kurdish officials.

Map showing control of Afrin on 12 March 2018 © BBC Map showing control of Afrin on 12 March 2018

The operation aimed at driving the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia out of Afrin began on 20 January.

  • Why is Turkey targeting Kurdish forces?
  • How Afrin became a prize worth a war
  • Why the battle for northern Syria matters
  • Who are the Kurds?

The Turkish government says the YPG is an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in south-eastern Turkey for three decades.

The YPG denies any direct organisational links to the PKK - an assertion backed by the US, which has provided the militia and allied Arab fighters with weapons and air support to help them battle the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

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