Civilians, fleeing the city of Afrin in northern Syria, gather inside an abandoned house in the village of az-Ziyarah, in the government-controlled part of the northern Aleppo province, on March 19, 2018. / AFP / GEORGE OURFALIAN
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Turkey will expand Afrin campaign if necessaryTurkish forces will press their offensive against Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters along the length of Turkey's border with Syria and if necessary into northern Iraq, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday, threatening wider conflict in Syria's civil war. A day after Turkish troops swept into Afrin, the main town in a pocket of Kurdish-controlled territory in northwest Syria, Erdogan said Turkey would also target a region stretching nearly 400 kilometers east to the town of Qamishli.Turkey is also concerned about the presence in northern Iraq of militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has waged the insurgency in Turkey since the 1980s.The PKK has been based in the Qandil mountain region near Iraq's border with Iran, but Erdogan said a "second Qandil" was being established in Sinjar, further west.He said Turkey had told the Iraqi government to deal with the threat.
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