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Turkey has begun operation in Syria's Afrin - President Erdogan

January 20, 2018, 15:05 UTC+3

Turkey's President once again criticized the U.S. support to the Syrian Kurds

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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

© Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP

ANKARA, January 20. /TASS/. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday the republic's Armed Forces had "actively" begun an operation in Syria's Afrin.

"An anti-terrorist operation in Afrin has actively begun," the Anadolu agency quoted the president as saying.

Erdogan once again criticized the U.S. "for working with the PKK, an organization which is in the terrorist list of the U.S. and the European Union, the Anadolu agency said. "They know it really well. They are trying their best to deceive Turkey and the world," the agency quoted Erdogan as saying.

Ankara believes that YPG and Syria’s Democratic Union party are an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), outlawed in Turkey.

"PKK, YPG, PYD are same; changing names does not change fact they are terror organizations," the president said on Saturday.

In recent months, Erdogan repeatedly spoke of a possibility to hold a military operation against those groups in the Syrian district of Afrin.

On Friday, Turkey’s defense authority confirmed the military operation in Afrin "de facto began with artillery fire.".

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