Syrian SDF accuses Ankara of ethnic cleansing in Afrin, Turkey denies

Syrian SDF accuses Ankara of ethnic cleansing in Afrin, Turkey denies

Syrian SDF accuses Ankara of ethnic cleansing in Afrin, Turkey denies

The forces encircled Afrin and also captured "areas of critical importance" in the region as of Monday, the Turkish military said in a statement.

According to the official, one of the issues is the USA supplying weapons to Kurdish groups in Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that an estimated 350,000 people live in Afrin and the surrounding areas.

With Syria's war set to enter its eighth year this week, fighting continues on several fronts, including around Afrin and in Eastern Ghouta near Damascus, where preparations were under way on Tuesday for the evacuation of wounded civilians.

Several people in Germany were injured when police used pepper spray against some demonstrators opposed to Turkey's ongoing military operation "Olive Branch" against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's Afrin region.

In a separate incident, another soldier was martyred during clashes with Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) militants in Turkey's eastern Ağrı province. IS said it attacked troops in positions they took from rebels. On March 12, the Turkish government spokesperson Bekir Bozdağ said the armed forces had gained control of more than half the area.

Syrian government forces have split eastern Ghouta in two amid rapid weekend advances, dealing a major setback to the rebels and threatening to exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation at the doorstep of Damascus.

Haley said the Security Council's previous cease-fire agreement, which came into effect last month, had "failed".

Opposition activists say that since the latest wave of bombings and ground offensive began, more than 1,100 civilians have been killed in eastern Ghouta.

USA ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called for a new 30-day cease-fire in Syria at a U.N. Security Council meeting on Monday, warning it was "prepared to act" to put an end to the "chemical attacks and inhuman suffering".

At least 353,935 people have died since, including more than 106,000 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Earlier Tuesday, Gerasimov said Moscow has "reliable information" that the militants in eastern Ghouta are preparing to stage a chemical attack and put the blame on the Syrian government, setting the stage for a USA strike.

Syrian troops have used siege tactics in several areas, sealing off rebel-held territory and pressing a military operation before securing an evacuation deal.

Opposition forces have denied holding talks with the regime.

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