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Turkey rolls into Afrin, apparently on way to Manbij

The city of Afrin, Syria, unexpectedly fell after Kurdish fighters surprisingly retreated, leaving the world watching for Ankara's next move.

Turkey-backed forces took control March 18 of Afrin, Syria, leaving observers to wonder why Kurdish forces appeared to just hand over the city, giving up their 56-day-long resistance. Yet even as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cheered his victory, Kurdish leaders pledged to retake the city, saying in a statement, "Resistance … will continue until every inch of Afrin is liberated." 

Clashes intensified March 14-17 between the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces backed by Turkey's army in the Afrin region’s mountainous terrain. Kurdish forces finally abandoned the city's center despite their extensive combat engineering work, fortifications including barriers and tunnels, and support provided by pro-Syrian regime forces

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