Airstrikes pound Syria's Afrin as Turkey launches 'Operation Olive Branch'

Airstrikes pound Syria's Afrin as Turkey launches 'Operation Olive Branch'By Mert Ozkan and Ellen Francis HASSA, Turkey/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Turkey opened a new front in Syria’s nearly seven-year-old war on Saturday, launching airstrikes against a U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Afrin province that raise the prospect of a further strain on relations between Ankara and Washington. The operation, dubbed “Operation Olive Branch” by Ankara, pits Turkey against Kurdish fighters allied to the United States at a time when ties between Turkey and Washington – NATO allies and members of the coalition against Islamic State – appear dangerously close to a breaking point.



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