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YPG/PKK blocking civilian exit from Afrin: UN

YPG/PKK BLOCKING CIVILIAN EXIT FROM AFRIN: UN

"Local authorities" continue to block the exodus of civilians from Syria's Afrin region, the UN spokesman said Monday, referring to YPG/PKK terrorists.

The UN has no direct contact with them and it is critical that people be able to move freely, said Stephane Dujarric in response to a question from an Anadolu Agency correspondent.

Dujarric added that nearly 5,000 civilians have managed to leave the region of northern Syria.

UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said earlier that civilians who want to flee Afrin continue to be stopped at exit points and prevented from accessing safer areas by PYD/PKK terrorists.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter and with respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.

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