Posts Tagged ‘Erdogan’

More than 150,000 flee Syria’s Afrin since Wednesday evening

March 17, 2018


© AFP | Civilians pour out of the Syrian city of Afrin taking to the mountains by vehicle or on foot as they flee an intensifying Turkish-led military offensive against a Kurdish militia on March 16, 2018

BEIRUT (AFP) – More than 150,000 civilians have fled the city of Afrin in northern Syria since Wednesday evening to escape a Turkish-led military offensive against a Kurdish militia, a war monitor said.”There was fierce fighting throughout the night on the northern outskirts of the city as the Turkish forces and their Syrian allies tried to break into the city,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

Turkey and its Syrian Arab rebel allies have waged a nearly two-month offensive on the Afrin enclave, which is held by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Earlier this week, they largely surrounded the enclave’s sole city, which was home to some 350,000 people, including people displaced from other parts of the enclave already overrun.

A single escape route remains open to the south to territory still held by the YPG or controlled by the Damascus government.

“Civilians are fleeing through the southern corridor,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Afrin has come under heavy air and artillery bombardment by the Turkish army.

On Friday evening, a Turkish bombing raid struck the city’s main hospital, killing 16 civilians, a monitor said.

Turkey’s military denied hitting the hospital, saying that its operation in Afrin “is carried out in such a way as to not cause any harm to civilians.”


Turkey to host Syria summit with Russia, Iran on April 4

March 16, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, will host a tripartite Syria summit on April 4 to be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, not in picture. (AP)

ANKARA: The presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran will meet for a three-way summit on Syria in Istanbul on April 4, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The meeting will be hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and will be the second such tripartite summit following one in November in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The summit will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as the three leaders seek to salvage their efforts to end the conflict.
As part of peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana sponsored by Ankara, Moscow and Tehran, the three countries’ foreign ministers will meet on Friday and will discuss preparations for next month’s summit, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The three countries have worked together despite being on different sides. While Iran and Russia have provided military support to the regime of Syria’s Bashar Assad, Turkey has repeatedly called for his ousting and supported Syrian rebels.
Ankara on Jan. 20 launched an air and ground offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in its enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.
The operation dubbed Olive Branch follows Turkey’s 2016-2017 offensive named Euphrates Shield in Syria against the YPG and the Daesh extremist group.
As part of the Astana process, Turkey, Iran and Russia have set out to create four so-called de-escalation zones in Idlib, the greater Damascus area, the southern region of Daraa and the city of Homs.
Intense bombardment has continued in Eastern Ghouta, which was designated in May 2017 as a “de-escalation zone.”
On Feb. 18, the regime backed by Russia launched a campaign against the rebel enclave near Damascus which has killed 1,249 civilians, including 252 children.
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What have 15 years of Erdogan done for Turkey?

March 15, 2018

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan marks 15 years in power. He spent 11 years as Turkey’s before becoming president in 2014. DW correspondent Julia Hahn visits supporters and critics to ask how Erdogan has changed throughout the years – and how he has changed the country.

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Istanbul underground

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Cancels U.S. Trip After Tillerson, Pompeo Move — Turkey Now Aligned More With Russia

March 15, 2018

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Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu meets with his Russian counterpart during a meeting in Moscow (AFP Photo)

Daily Sabah

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s March 19 trip to Washington and the planned meeting on Manbij have been postponed, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said Thursday, a few days after U.S. President Donald Trump ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mike Pompeo.

Çavuşoğlu was expected to hold a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson regarding the situation in Syria’s Manbij, which is currently held by the PKK’s Syrian offshoot People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The meeting was supposed to focus on a roadmap for the Syrian city, including the withdrawal of the YPG, and the return of weapons handed to the terrorists by the U.S. However, Trump’s unexpected move suddenly changed plans.

The Syrian city of Manbij has been one of the most hotly debated topics of discussion between Turkey and the U.S. as the former considers the YPG to be the offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization, which is also recognized as such by the U.S.

Members of operation Olive Branch (picture-alliance /AA/H. Al Homsi)

Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters encircled the Kurdish-held town of Afrin on Tuesday. Afrin, located in Syrian territory, has been the target of an Ankara-led offensive for seven weeks.

Turkish officials have consistently said that Operation Olive Branch, which is currently taking place in Syria’s Afrin, will continue into Manbij and have criticized the U.S. for not keeping its promises, in terms of the pledge given by the U.S. that local councils would run the cities after they were liberated, but the YPG took control in northern Syria.


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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Sochi, Russia, on November 22, 2017

Jordan halts free trade accord with Turkey amid increasing geopolitical tension

March 15, 2018

A handout picture released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on August 21, 2017 shows Jordanian King Abdullah II (R) greeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the royal palace in Amman. (AFP file)
AMMAN/ LONDON: Jordan has suspended a free trade agreement (FTA) with Turkey in a move as much about regional politics as imports and exports, according to a leading academic at the London School of Economics (LSE).
In an interview with Arab News, Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations at the LSE, said: “What you are seeing now is Jordan’s realignment with its key Arab allies, to send a clear message to Turkey that what Turkey has been doing is unacceptable.”
Turkey, he claimed, had been “intervening” in internal Arab affairs — for instance, offering economic and “military support” for Qatar, which has been boycotted by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE for its alleged support of extremism and links with Iran.
According to Jordan’s state-controlled Petra news agency, Amman’s decision to suspend the FTA with Turkey was taken “in light of the closure of border crossings with neighboring countries and the shrinking of traditional markets for national exports.”
Additionally, Jordan faced “unequal” competition with Turkish products, which Amman alleged receive Turkish government subsidies, leading to negative effects for local producers. Petra reported that the FTA had “further tilted the trade balance in favor of the Turkish side, which had failed to ensure the flow of sufficient investments into Jordan.”
But Gerges told Arab News: “Behind the trade issue, relations with Turkey have reached a really low point.” He mentioned a number of tensions such as Turkey’s military incursions into Syria, the civilian casualties, Turkish support for Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt — all these factors had “poisoned” Arab-Turkish relations,” he said.
Gerges claimed that Turkey had hosted hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members, and Turkey had “overwhelmingly supported the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian government of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
He said: “At one point Turkey was very powerful, a very influential state before the Arab Spring uprising. But Turkey has sided fully with the Islamists; this has really angered not just Arab regimes but also big chunks of the Arab populations,” he said.
“What Turkey is trying to do is to fill the vacuum of Arab fragility (post the Arab Spring), and this is unacceptable to key Arab states… in particular Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.”
Gerges also said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had gone out of his way to take sides, which he said was an example of how Turkey had not recognized “the limits of its influence.”
He added: “Jordan has been trying to walk a tightrope between its close relations with its Arab allies, and Turkey as a non Arab state. And this has now proven to be untenable. “The straw that broke the camel’s back is Turkey’s row with the Gulf over Qatar, which is a huge issue for the Arab states.”
Last year, a group of Turkish servicemen arrived at a base in southern Doha in accordance with an agreement signed between Qatar and Turkey in 2014.
The Turkish military held their first drills at the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in August 2017. It was reported that Ankara deployed yet more troops to Qatar’s Al-Udeid Air Base in December, but in February 2018 Turkey refuted claims that Ankara had sent additional military forces.
The suspension of the FTA comes a month after a visit by the Turkish foreign minister and top officials to Jordan, where they discussed political and economic relations.
Petra said that Jordan was in the process of evaluating all FTAs that may not have resulted in the envisioned benefits to the national economy.
Turkey and the UAE last week clashed in a separate incident when a senior UAE official tweeted that Turkey’s policy toward the Arab states was not reasonable and advised it to respect their sovereignty.
“It is no secret that Arab-Turkish relations aren’t in their best state,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted.
“In order to return to balance, Ankara has to respect Arab sovereignty and deal with its neighbors with wisdom and rationality,” he said.
The two countries were drawn into a different quarrel in December over a retweet by the Emirati foreign minister that Erdogan called an insult.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, UAE minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, shared a tweet at the time that accused Turkish troops of looting the holy city of Madinah a century ago, prompting Erdogan to lash out saying that the minister had been spoiled by oil money.
Turkey then renamed the street in Ankara where the UAE Embassy is located after the Ottoman military commander who Sheikh Abdullah had appeared to criticize.
Last year, Turkey exported goods and products worth $672 million to Jordan, mainly composed of textile and furniture; while Jordan mostly exports fertilizers to Turkey worth of $78 million. Turkey’s direct investments to the country stand at about $300 million.
Currently, Turkey has 24 FTAs with various countries, including Palestine, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and Israel, while the FTA with Syria was suspended in 2011 due to the civil war. The FTA with Lebanon awaits the Lebanese parliament’s approval. The FTAs abolish customs duties between the contracting parties.
Ali Bakeer, an Ankara-based political analyst and researcher, believes that the Jordanian decision is purely economic and has nothing to do with any political issue; because it is suspended and not canceled.
But Esen Caglar, managing director of Policy Analytics Lab, a think tank and consultancy based in Ankara, said Jordan’s decision to suspend the FTA between the two countries was bad economic policy.
“Jordan is a small economy. It should be a small open economy if it wants to improve the welfare of its citizens and competitiveness of its producers,” Caglar told Arab News.
“The way of protecting its national economy is not by taking such measures, but by increasing competitiveness of its sectors. Jordan also needs to improve its investment environment and make it more predictable and cheaper to do business” he added.
Salameh Darawi, editor of the economic website Al Maqar, told Arab News that the trade deal was not providing the promised Turkish investment in Jordan. “The deal had two parts: One investment in IT and in mining industries, and the other free trade.”
While there is no disagreement that Turkey has not invested in Jordan, there are mixed opinions as to the benefits of the free trade deal. “While the trade balance is in favor of Turkey, it is not clear if subsidized Turkish goods have flooded the local market to the degree that it has hurt local products,” Darawi told Arab News.
Issam Murad, the head of the Amman Chamber of Commerce, however, responded in a statement by saying that “stopping free trade with Turkey will hurt the commercial and service sectors.” The statement further noted that “many investments, deals and agreements were made based on this agreement and all of these commercial entities who worked on the basis of an existence of a valid agreement will be hurt.”


Erdogan hopes Afrin will be ‘totally encircled’ by evening, not seized: presidency

March 14, 2018


© AFP/File | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to root out Kurdish forces in northern Syria
ANKARA (TURKEY) (AFP) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes Turkish forces will have completely encircled Afrin by Wednesday evening, a presidential source said, clarifying his earlier comments in a speech indicating the Kurdish-held Syrian city would fall by then.”In the president’s speech the sentence ‘I hope that Afrin will have completely fallen by the evening’ should be understood as ‘the encirclement will have been completed by the evening’,” said a presidential source in a message to media, asking not to be named.

Erdogan had earlier stated in a speech at the presidential palace in Ankara that Afrin would fall by the evening to the Turkish army and Syrian allies, a claim rejected by the Syrian Kurds.

“We have got a little bit closer to Afrin. I hope that Afrin will, God willing, have completely fallen by the evening,” Erdogan said in the speech.

Afrin city is the key target in Turkey’s seven-week operation Olive Branch launched on January 20 and aimed at ousting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the Afrin region of northern Syria.

A YPG spokesman accused Erdogan of “daydreaming” in the speech.

The Turkish army and its Syrian allies, who had been looking to complete the encirclement in a two-pronged movement from the east and the west, had Afrin city surrounded on Monday, the army said on Tuesday.

“The routes used to the east by the terrorists to enter and go out of the region will be closed today or tomorrow, God willing,” Erdogan added in the speech.

Turkey regards the YPG as a terror group and a branch of a Kurdish militant movement in Turkey that has waged an insurgency for decades.

But the YPG has been a key ally of the United States in the fight against jihadists in Syria and Turkey’s operation against it has raised tensions with Ankara’s NATO allies in Washington and Europe.

Erdogan has repeatedly said that after taking Afrin, Turkey’s offensive would expand to key border towns controlled by the YPG right up to the Iraqi frontier.

These would include Kurdish-held towns such as Manbij where US forces have a presence, raising the risk of a confrontation with Turkey’s NATO ally.

“We will cleanse Manbij and then in the same way will cleanse east of the Euphrates right up to the Iraqi border,” he said.

Erdogan also raised the prospect of a cross-border operation in northern Iraq where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a decades long struggle against the Turkish army, has its rear bases.

“We are surveying the terror nests in northern Iraq at every opportunity,” said Erdogan. “Soon we will bring these down on the heads of the terrorists in the strongest way.”

France toughens talk on Turkish Syria operation — Francois Hollande pressures Macron — It is not right to let entire populations die

March 13, 2018


March 13, 2018, at 1:07 p.m.

Under Pressure, France Toughens Talk on Turkish Syria Operation

People ride on trucks with their belongings in north-east Afrin, Syria March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that Turkey’s operation against Kurdish militants in the Afrin region was not justified, the strongest language yet from Paris regarding its NATO ally’s intervention in Syria.

The French government has faced growing criticism at home over its response to developments in northern Syria where Turkey launched its operation“Olive Branch” nearly two months ago to sweep Syrian Kurdish YPG militants from the border.

“While concerns over border security are legitimate… at the same time … It must be said that it absolutely does not justify the deep incursion of Turkish troops in the Afrin zone,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers in parliament.

“The situation is critical and serious,” he said, adding that Paris feared the Turkish operation was also weakening the action against Islamic State militants.

France, like the United States, has extended arms and training to a YPG-led militia in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, and also has dozens of special forces based in the region. That has infuriated Turkey, which considers the YPG an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Former president Francois Hollande, who originally gave the green light for French support to the Kurds, on Monday bemoaned incumbent Emmanuel Macron’s Syria policy, in particular his attitude to the Kurds.

“If I supported the Kurds as part of the coalition, it is not to leave them in the situation they are in,” he told Le Monde.“It is not possible to celebrate the liberation of part of Syria and let entire populations die when we know the role they played in getting that result.”

Turkey’s military and rebel allies have encircled Afrin, its military said on Tuesday, a substantial advance in its campaign.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organization that reports on the war, said an estimated 700,000 people in Afrin and nearby were now encircled.

“The main reason for our determination on this subject is that we have a very old relationship with the Kurds and we recognize the vital role they played in retaking Raqqa,” Le Drian said, referring to Islamic State’s former Syria bastion.

Reporting by John Irish, Editing by William Maclean

Turkish army surrounds Syrian city of Afrin — Seven week old campaign is going where?

March 13, 2018

Turkey’s new push to clear Afrin of the Syrian Kurdish group YPG could endanger some 300 thousand civilians. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to expand the offensive to other areas of the border region.

Members of operation Olive Branch (picture-alliance /AA/H. Al Homsi)

Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition fighters encircled the Kurdish-held town of Afrin on Tuesday. Afrin, located in Syrian territory, has been the target of an Ankara-led offensive for seven weeks.

In a brief statement, the Turkish military said that the new siege on Afrin had begun on Monday, adding that it had taken control of “critical areas” of the town without giving further details.

Earlier on Monday, Turkey’s army asserted that it had taken control over half of the area under rebel control.

Read more: Turkey’s military offensive against Kurdish-held Afrin: What you need to know

Operation ‘Olive Branch’

The wider Turkish operation in Afrin, dubbed “Olive Branch,” began on January 20 and aims to drive the Syrian Kurdish group YPG out of the Turkish-Syrian border region.

The YPG has been a close Western ally in the fight against Islamic extremists in Syria. But Ankara labels the YPG a terrorist group and an extension of the banned Turkish-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

As Turkish troops approached Afrin on Monday, thousands of civilians began to flee the Syrian city and headed toward nearby areas controlled by the Syrian government.

Read more: Who is Salih Muslim, the Syrian Kurdish leader wanted by Turkey?

300,000 people under siege

The UK-based NGO Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Turkish forces and their Syrian militia allies have effectively encircled an estimated 700,000 people in Afrin and nearby areas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last Saturday that his government planned to expand the offensive against Kurdish rebels on the border areas after the army gains control of Afrin.

Read more: Turkey’s offensive in Syria: Why a muted response from the US and Russia?

EU to offer Turkey more cash for Syrian refugees before Erdogan meeting

March 13, 2018

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, attends the inauguration of his ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party’s Politics Academy, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, March 9, 2018. (AP)
BRUSSELS: The European Union’s executive is due to approve a further 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in funding for Syrian refugees living in Turkey, EU officials said, before a meeting with President Tayyip Erdogan later this month.
Europe’s relations with Erdogan have been fraught in recent years but the EU depends on Turkey to keep a tight lid on immigration from the Middle East, where the war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands and pushed millions from homes.
Top EU officials will meet Erdogan on March 26 in the Bulgarian city of Varna despite misgivings among many on the European side.
The bloc’s top migration official Dimitris Avramopoulos will announce on Wednesday that the European Commission proposes the extra funding on projects benefiting Syrian refugees in Turkey, the sources told Reuters.
Turkey has accepted 3.5 million refugees from Syria, and the EU is already spending a first 3 billion euro instalment to help them.
Over a million more refugees and migrants reached the EU in 2015, most of them flowing through Turkey. Brussels agreed to pay to help host migrants on the Turkish soil in exchange for Ankara preventing more from trying to cross the Aegean to Greece.
This reduced the numbers to a trickle and this cooperation with a key NATO ally has muted EU action against Turkey over a crackdown on critics, dissenters and civil society following a failed coup in 2016.
Erdogan has also attacked EU members Germany and the Netherlands in his speeches.
The bloc has mainly responded by freezing some funding that Turkey had been eligible for as a candidate for EU entry and suspending accession talks that have long been stalled anyway.
The EU will also release in April what the sources said would be a “critical” report on Turkey’s accession bid.


Syria regime pursues Eastern Ghouta offensive despite calls to halt — “Russia can stop the bloodbath.” — “Who are these war criminals?”

March 13, 2018
© Hasan Mohamed, AFP | A Syrian boy pulls a cart with items collected amidst debris of destroyed buildings in Douma, in the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus on March 12, 2018.


Latest update : 2018-03-13

Syria’s regime pressed its relentless offensive on Eastern Ghouta Monday as diplomats at the United Nations pushed for new efforts to end the “bloodbath” in the rebel enclave.

Pounding two towns with new bombardment, government troops advanced in several areas of the besieged enclave, as a monitor reported more than 350,000 now dead in Syria’s seven-year civil war.

On another front in the conflict, hundreds were seen fleeing a Turkish-led advance in the northern area of Afrin, where a Kurdish-majority city is also under threat of being besieged.

Syria’s civil conflict enters its eighth year this week with fighting in several areas, but the assault on Eastern Ghouta has been one of the most ferocious of the war.

Since February 18, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have retaken nearly 60 percent of the enclave, whittling down rebel territory to three isolated pockets.

Backed by Russia, the advance has battered Eastern Ghouta with air strikes, artillery and rocket fire, raising widespread international concern and prompting urgent calls for a ceasefire.

France’s envoy to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, on Monday urged Moscow to put pressure on its ally to halt the offensive, saying: “Russia can stop the bloodbath.”

The United States also presented a new draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding a 30-day ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta.

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Syria and Russia are already celebrating their “win”.

US presents new UN draft

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told the council that a ceasefire resolution it adopted two weeks ago had failed and that the new resolution “provides no room for evasion”.

Pro-regime forces advanced again in Ghouta on Monday, heavily bombing two rebel-controlled towns closest to the capital, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Air strikes and rocket fire slammed into the towns of Harasta and Arbin, the Britain-based monitor said, as the regime used the recently recaptured town of Medeira nearby as a launching pad for a ground assault.

In Harasta at least four civilians were killed in air strikes, the Observatory said.

Syrian state media also reported a government advance in Ghouta, saying the town of Efteris to the south had been seized.

The other two areas still in rebel hands are Douma, the region’s biggest town in the north of the enclave, and the zone around Hammuriyeh and other towns to the south.

An AFP correspondent in Douma said the morning was relatively quiet, allowing civilians to venture out of bomb shelters to check on the destruction in their homes or gather food.

Residents were seen queueing at a butcher shop, whose owner had slaughtered a calf that he could fatten up no further because there was nothing left to feed it.

Syria’s conflict broke out in March 2011 with peaceful protests against Assad, but a regime crackdown paved the way for a fully-fledged war.

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, left, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met in Sochi, Russia, on last November 20. Credit Pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev

At least 353,935 people have died since, including more than 106,000 civilians, the Observatory said on Monday, providing a new overall death toll for the conflict.

More than 19,800 children are among the dead, it said.

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Putin embraces assad in Russia, November 22, 2017

In the Ghouta offensive alone, at least 1,162 civilians have been killed, including 241 children, the Observatory said.

More than 35 civilians have also been killed in rebel fire on government-controlled zones in Damascus and its outskirts since the start of the Ghouta offensive, it says. Rebel mortar and rocket fire killed two civilians on Monday, according to state news agency SANA.

Even before the offensive began, rebel-held parts of Ghouta were facing a crippling government siege that made food and medicine hard to access.

Hundreds flee Afrin

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

Syria’s government was on Monday pursuing separate negotiation tracks over the three rebel-held pockets of Eastern Ghouta, according to the Observatory and sources involved.

The talks, in some cases involving Russian officials, were focused on local truces or potential evacuation deals for rebels and civilians.

Opposition forces have repeatedly denied holding talks with the regime and on Monday tensions erupted in the town of Kafr Batna, with rebels there reportedly shooting dead a civilian taking part in a protest calling for a deal.

Since the conflict broke out seven years ago, an array of world powers have become involved, including Turkey.

For weeks, Ankara and allied Syrian rebels have pursued an offensive against Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled region of northwest Syria.

Hundreds of residents were seen fleeing the city of Afrin on Monday, with the Observatory reporting more than 2,000 arriving in an area controlled by pro-regime forces.

Hundreds more were on the road, it said, after Turkish forces and their allies on Saturday arrived to within less than two kilometres (one mile) of the city, sparking fears it could be besieged.


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Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet in Sochi, Russia, on November 22, 2017

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Putin, right, greets Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Yuri Kadobnov AP

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Putin already celebrated his “win” in Syria