Syrian Rebels, Backed by Turkey, Seize Control of Afrin

“This morning at 8.30 a.m., Afrin city center was completely taken under control by F.S.A. members, who are supported by our Turkish military,” he said. “The majority of terrorists had already escaped, their tails between their legs.” Turkish special forces were assisting in clearing mines and weaponry left behind, he added.

The operation was a turnabout for the Syrian fighters, who had originally taken up arms to fight their government and are now fighting Syrian Kurds who had sought a measure of autonomy in Syria. Turkey, one of the main backers of Syrian rebels, has shifted its focus to preventing the Y.P.G., which it considers a terrorist organization, from establishing a foothold along its border. It has enlisted rebels,…

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