Erdogan says Turkey can enter Syrian town of Afrin 'at any moment'

Erdogan says Turkey can enter Syrian town of Afrin 'at any moment'

"Once we have purged the terrorists (from Afrin) we will then cleanse them from Manbij, Ayn al-Arab, Tel-Abyad, Ras al-Ayn and Qamishli", he said in televised comments.

It said they had also taken control of the Afrin Dam - also known as the 17 April Dam - which stores water and provides some hydroelectric power.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly vows to "clean the region from this trouble completely", signaling that the offensive against PKK and the affiliated group will not remain merely with the operation in Afrin.

"We have established working groups for that", Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with the German weekly Die Zeit on Friday. Turkey sees the YPG as a terrorist group and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

"Today we are in Afrin and tomorrow we will be in Manbij".

The YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK terror organisation which is responsible for over 40,000 deaths, and has carried out a violent campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years.

"We've been persecuted [by the YPG/PKK terrorists]".

The military intervention came after the United States said it would set up a 30,000-strong militant border force at Turkish doorstep.

Erdogan also said that a total of 3,171 terrorists have been "neutralised" in Afrin since the start of Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria.

Turkey's foreign minister said Ankara and Washington have established working groups to discuss the stabilization of Manbij and other Syrian cities east of the Euphrates.

The word "neutralised" is used to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured. "The target is to get 2,000 square kilometers under our control", Erdo─čan told a public rally in the southern Mersin province.