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''This is a wrong approach. We know very well to whom we will return Afrin'' - Erdogan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey will return Syria's Afrin to its residents, criticizing recent remarks by Russian foreign minister.

Sergey Lavrov on Monday urged Ankara to return Afrin to the Bashar al-Assad regime.

"This is a wrong approach. We know very well to whom we will return Afrin," Erdogan told reporters in the parliament.

He said Afrin would be handed over to its residents "when the time comes".

"But, we will define the time," he added.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.

On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.

Enter.News