Turkey deploys special forces for new Afrin battle
Reports of Turkish reinforcements to the region come despite a United Nations call at the weekend for a ceasefire across Syria.
"The entrance of the special forces is in preparation for the new battle that is approaching," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told NTV broadcaster.
Dogan news agency reported that gendarmerie and police special forces teams entered Afrin from two places to the northwest of the region, saying they would take part in urban fighting and holding villages which Turkish forces have seized.
Turkey's military and Syrian rebel allies have pushed Kurdish fighters back from most of Turkey's border but most of the larger towns in Afrin remain under YPG control.
Turkey has said the UN Security Council's demand for a 30-day truce across Syria does not apply to its "Operation Olive Branch" offensive.
"Some regions such as eastern Ghouta are part of the UN's ceasefire decision in Syria, but Afrin is not one of them," said Bozdag, who is also the government spokesman. "The decision will not impact our Olive Branch operation... in the Afrin region."
The Security Council on Saturday unanimously demanded a 30-day ceasefire to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries and medical evacuations. The measure did not specify when the truce would go into force beyond saying it should be "without delay".
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the UN ceasefire call at the weekend also applied to Syria's Afrin region.
Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK. The PKK group is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and EU.
Nearly 120 civilians have been killed so far in the offensive according to several estimates, a claim Turkey denies.
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