Turkish forces will lay siege on the Syrian city of Afrin “in the coming days”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on February 20.
The president explained a limited progress of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin area since the start of Ankara’s Operation Olive Branch on January 20.
“Preparations in the field take some time. In the coming days, we will lay siege to Afrin city; it’s very important that everywhere we go should remain secure,” Erdogan said, according to Hurriyet newspaper. “Thanks to the siege, the YPG will have no room for bargaining with the Syrian regime.”
Recently, the TAF and the FSA increased the speed of their advance in the area. Experts beleive that this effort is linked to the circulating reports about the widely-reported neogtiations between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the YPG over the expected SAA deployment of Afrin.