Erdogan hopes Afrin to be captured by Wednesday evening

Turkish forces ‘surround’ Syrian Kurdish city

"When the worldwide community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action", Haley said on Monday. Afrin, located in Syrian territory, has been the target of an Ankara-led offensive for seven weeks.

Ankara says the YPG are a "terrorist" entity linked to the banned Kurdish PKK group, which has waged a decades-long conflict inside Turkey.

Mr Erdogan's boastful comment came as Turkish bombing raids killed 10 fighters loyal to the Syrian government at a checkpoint they were manning near Afrin.

Turkey launched a military offensive into the border enclave on January 20 to drive out Syrian Kurdish forces that it considers to be "terrorists" and an extension of Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said he hoped the northern Syrian town of Afrin would "fall by evening" to Turkish forces and rebel allies.

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In a statement yesterday, the Turkish military said it had completed the encirclement of the city of Afrin, home to some 350,000 people and defended by a well-armed Syrian Kurdish militia, the People's Protection Units (YPG).

Since the start of its offensive, Turkey has also threatened to push its military operations to Manbij, further east, to sweep Syrian Kurdish fighters from the length of its borders.

It's a major issue of conflict for Turkey and the US that is expected to be discussed between the two countries later this month. Their territorial grip expanded as they seized vast territory fighting Islamic State militants with USA help.

The area has been under government siege since 2013, leaving hospitals too strapped to treat people properly.

Syrian government forces have split eastern Ghouta in two amid rapid weekend advances, dealing a major setback to the rebels and threatening to exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation at the doorstep of Damascus. Damascus has dubbed the Turkish campaign as "aggression", however, refrained from sending armed forces to the area.

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