BEIRUT — Turkey’s prime minister says Turkish troops have captured a strategic village in the Kurdish-held enclave in northwestern Syria, tightening the grip on the area in the sixth week of its offensive on the area.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says Turkish soldiers cleared Rajo in Afrin district of “terrorists.” He says the Kurdish fighters have been pushed back from the border with Turkey and are now surrounded in Afrin.
Yildirim was speaking at a rally in the central Konya province.
The United States and Russia are again clashing over an expert body to determine responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria, with Washington circulating a new draft U.N. resolution and Moscow moving toward a vote on its own proposal.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fierce clashes were still being reported in Rajo.
If confirmed, Rajo would be the largest center in Afrin to be captured since the Turkish offensive began on Jan.20.
Turkey says it wants to oust the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, from Afrin. It considers the group an extension of a Kurdish insurgency within its own borders.