03/09/2018, 10.06
TURKEY - SYRIA
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Turkish army conquers a strategic town in advance on Afrin

The Ankara troops take Jandairis. Now they are aiming to reach the capital from the eastern sector. Analysts and experts speak of "milestone" in the context of an "ongoing progress" of the offensive. Ankara's attack on the Kurds has weakened the war against the Islamic State.

Ankara (AsiaNews / Agencies) - In the context of the offensive against the Kurdish YPG militias (People's Protection Unit) in Afrin, northern Syria, the Turkish army has conquered the city of Jandairis, with strategic importance. In this way, Ankara's troops have strengthened their chances of successfully completing a very harsh military campaign that has caused hundreds of victims, including civilians.

On January 20, Ankara promoted the "Olive branch" operation against the Kurdish militias; a military campaign that, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will end "in a short period of time". In reality, in the first period the Turkish military made meager progress on the ground, thanks to the strenuous resistance opposed by the Kurdish militias. The offensive aims at the city of Afrin, the real goal to be conquered in this anti-Kurdish campaign launched by the "Sultan" Erdogan. Among the Turkish soldiers there were at least 42 dead, hailed as "martyrs" by the leader of Ankara and buried with honors in their country of origin. The capture that took place in these hours of Jandairis, a town of strategic importance in the Afrin district, is a great success. It allows you to open the road to the capital from the eastern sector.

Elizabeth Teoman, a Turkish scholar at the Institute for War Studies (ISW), has defined Jandairis's grip as a "milestone" in the advance towards Afrin. The complex operation, she adds, "seems to be in continuous progress" and the final objective becomes more and more concrete.

Analysts and experts say the attack on the Kurds in northern Syria is a watershed in relations between Ankara and the West. It placed in a frontal confrontation position the Turkish troops against an allied US militia in the fight against the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis) in the region. In fact, the fight against the men of the "Caliphate" has undergone a sharp break in the latter period, after months of military campaigning that resulted in retaking of much of the territory once under the control of Daesh [Arabic acronym for IS] .

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