Turkey sends special forces for next stage of Afrin offensive

Erdogan destined to face an election that could prove to be his nemesis

French President Emmanuel Macron told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday that a United Nations call at the weekend for a ceasefire across Syria also applied to Syria's Afrin region.

Turkey has warned that the Afrin offensive could expand to the nearby Syrian city of Manbij.

Their main task will be to fight possible infiltrations of Kurdish YPG militants in villages that have already passed into Turkish control, and to participate in the siege on Afrin's urban centre, local media said.

"Our wish is that he is extradited", Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said after the arrest in Prague of Muslim, the former co-chair of Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), noting that both Turkey and the Czech Republic were parties to the European Convention on Extradition.

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"Some regions such as eastern Ghouta are part of the U.N.'s ceasefire decision in Syria, but Afrin is not one of them", said Bozdag, who is also the government spokesman.

According to presidential sources, Erdogan also shared details about his country's ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region. "No serious condemnation neither for world powers, nor global community at large followed except from the unanimously approved resolution by the UN Security Council calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria", Safrastyan said.

Ankara sees the PYD and YPG as extensions of the outlawed Kurdish PKK movement, which has waged a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil - though the groups say they are independent.

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