'Under control': Turkish forces seize Syria’s Afrin town centre from Kurds
"Afrin city centre is under control as of 8.30 this morning," Erdogan announced at a Sunday’s rally marking the 103rd anniversary of the World War One Gallipoli campaign.
In the centre of Afrin, "symbols of trust and stability are waving instead of rags of terrorists", he added.
The president said his country's "special forces and members of the Free Syrian Army are cleaning the remains and the traps they left behind".
A spokesman for the Syrian rebel forces said they met no resistance as they entered Afrin on three fronts before dawn.
There was no immediate comment from the Kurdish forces.
Pictures and video footage emerged of forces tearing down a Kurdish statue with a bulldozer. The monument depicted the blacksmith Kawa, a legendary figure for the Kurdish movement.
A Turkish armed forces Twitter page posted a video of troops displaying the nation's flag in Afrin's centre.
— TSK (@TSKGnkur) March 18, 2018
‘Operation Olive Branch’
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US plans to help form a Kurdish border force set alarm bells ringing in Ankara, and prompted the launch of Operation Olive Branch.
Ankara also announced plans to push Kurdish forces from Manbij, another city near the border.
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