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Turkish army gains control of border strip inside Syria’s Afrin ahead of ‘new battle’ – reports

The Turkish army on Monday took control of the outer edge of Syria’s Afrin region, according to state media. Ankara said it was readying for a “new battle” by deploying police special forces. The military and allied Syrian rebel factions pushed some Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters back from the frontier near the Turkish border, Anadolu said, adding that it effectively created a “crescent” of control on Syria’s side of the border. Since launching its operation in the northwest Syrian region, Turkey has captured 115 “strategic points” and 87 villages, according to the report. The Syrian Kurdish YPG forces said Turkish warplanes had struck a village near Jandaris in the southwest of Afrin, killing five civilians.