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Turkey says will foil border 'games' as offensive against Syria continues

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo by AFP)

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will “thwart games” along its borders, starting with the northwestern Syrian city of Manbij, as Ankara presses ahead with its operation against US-backed Kurdish militants in the war-torn Arab country.

Speaking to local administrators in Ankara on Wednesday, Erdogan urged international NGOs to support Turkey’s Syria campaign.

“I have doubts of the humanity of those who support this organization and call Turkey an invader,” Erdogan said, referring to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu recently warned that Turkey’s operation in Afrin could expand to the nearby city of Manbij.

Turkey launched the so-called Operation Olive Branch in Afrin on Saturday in a bid to eliminate the YPG, which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).

 The YPG forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed anti-Damascus militant group.

The Turkish military said in a statement on Tuesday that at least 260 members of the YPG and the Daesh terrorist group had been killed in the Afrin operation.

Turkey exaggerating casualties: YPG

On Wednesday, the SDF accused the Turkish army of trying to mislead the world by falsely claiming that Daesh elements were active in Afrin.

“The whole world knows Daesh is not present in Afrin,” Redur Xelil, a senior SDF official, told Reuters.

He further touched on the Afrin operation casualties, saying that the Turkish army was exaggerating the number of the Kurdish militants killed.

He also noted that the SDF had killed dozens of Turkish forces and allied Free Syrian Army members.

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