Turkey 'neutralises' 1028 terrorists in Syria's Afrin

Turkey captures PYD  PKK tunnel network in NW Syria

"Russia (is) managing (the) operational tempo of Olive Branch by opening/closing air space", commented prominent Turkish security analyst Metin Gurcan on Twitter.

Since the operation began, Turkish forces and the FSA have captured a total of 46 zones, including 29 villages and 13 strategic mountains and hills from the YPG.

Ankara and Moscow remain at loggerheads about which Syrian groups can be considered terrorists.

"They [Tehran] didn't think it was going to be that big an operation". "Iran would not like to see reforms that weaken Assad's hold".

Erdogan has been a staunch opponent of the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad since the advent of the Syria War, which has left both Ankara and Damascus at odds on nearly every issue inside the country.

Last summer, the coalition shot down Iranian-made armed drones and aircraft affiliated with the Syrian government in southern Syria, after they came dangerously close to U.S-backed forces and advisers.

"We should make efforts and take measures in a way that no country feels threatened by its neighbours, " Rouhani said in the meeting with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday.

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"Turkey and Russian Federation have finally found each other after 300 years separation due to Western-incited wars", Erdogan's chief aide, Yigit Bulut, declared on a TV show this week."Turkey no longer needs the West when Russian Federation and China are taking Turkey's side". In the a year ago, Moscow, Tehran and Ankara have been working together, in what has been dubbed the "Astana Process".

France's foreign minister has accused Turkey and Iran of violating worldwide law in their involvement in the Syrian conflict, and has demanded that all Iranian-backed militias and external forces such as Hezbollah leave the war-torn country.

Terry Reintke MEP, Co-President of the LGBTI Intergroup at the European Parliament said "LGBTQ activists are increasingly silenced in Turkey, and this is worrying".

Since the start of the operation, however, Erdogan has continued to ramp up his rhetoric and with it an apparent broadening of its goals. The group said the right to call itself "Turkish" was enshrined in the constitution and reflected its service to the public good.

A new law will ensure the group "will not be able to use the notion of Turkishness, nor the name Turkey", Erdogan said. "The rhetoric of the Turkish president is creating a nostalgia for the Ottoman era".

Now amid worldwide pressure for Turkey to show restraint, airstrikes have stopped.

"The Turkish armed forces are not in Afrin to fight armed Kurdish groups".

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"This institution has nothing to do with Turkishness and nothing about them is worthy of the notion of Turkishness", Erdogan said in a speech on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the U.S.to withdraw its troops from Manbij and renewed a threat to expand Ankara's military offensive in Syria to this town.

The Turkish officials said the two also agreed that efforts to create "observation posts" in Syria's Idlib province as part of a de-escalation agreement among Turkey, Russia and Iran should gain momentum.

Tehran is also looking to diplomacy.

Erdogan has ruled out bowing to any political or diplomatic pressure to curtail the ongoing Syrian military operation.

"Obviously, there is a lot of concern there because of what we heard out of Ankara".

The senior Turkish security official said: "Turkey is open to joint cooperation, including intelligence, with all its worldwide partners".

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