Turkey-backed Syrian forces seize control of Afrin's centre

Turkey now says it will extend the offensive to other Kurdish regions where US forces are stationed alongside the YPG, an ally against so called ISIL. "Our special forces and members of the Free Syrian Army are cleaning the remains and the traps they left behind", Erdoğan said.

This effectively caps off the invasion of the Afrin District, as Turkey had seized other major population centers in the district already.

Turkish forces and alllied Syrian rebels launched an operation against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in the enclave on 20 January.

As the original battles in Syria's civil war draw to an end, with government forces pummeling the few remaining rebel-held areas and Islamic State on the retreat, new fronts have opened up as local, regional and global powers try to stake out positions for the post-war period.

Erdoğan said a total of 3,603 militants have been "neutralized" since the beginning of the operation.

The FSA force surrounded Afrin from three sides with more than 200,000 civilians fleeing the city.

Syria demands Turkish forces’ withdrawal from Afrin

Turkey pressed on with its campaign despite a UN Security Council call for a 30-day ceasefire across Syria. Kurdish YPG officials were not giving up, however, vowing guerilla resistance to the Turkish occupation. She said clashes in the town were still underway.

Turkey's armed forces say in a statement, troops were combing the streets for mines and improvised explosive devices. Now the Turkish flag is flying there.

The soldier called the capture a "gift" to the Turkish nation and to fallen soldiers on the anniversary of a famous First World War victory. Television footage showed residents showering them with rice from balconies while some rebels kissed the ground and fired into the air in celebration.

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.

If that happens, Turkey would control a large chunk of northern Syria from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean coast, in effect blocking the formation of a Kurdish statelet in the area, Erdurmaz said.

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