BEIRUT – The Latest on developments related to Syria (all times local):
Turkey's foreign minister says his government hopes that a cross-border military offensive in a Syrian Kurdish-held enclave will end before May.
Speaking during a joint news conference with his Austrian counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Vienna on Thursday that Turkey wants the operation to end as fast as possible so that Afrin can "quickly embrace stability and civilians can return."
Turkey's state-run news agency said meanwhile that Turkish troops and allied Syrian opposition forces had entered the town of Jinderes, in the enclave's southwest, where they were engaged in street clashes with Syrian Kurdish forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that a siege of Afrin's main city would begin after Jinderes is taken.
Turkey launched the assault into the enclave on Jan. 20 to drive out Syrian Kurdish fighters that Ankara considers to be a security threat because of their links to outlawed rebels in Turkey.
The offensive has so far killed 42 Turkish soldiers and more than 150 allied Syrian opposition fighters.
The International Committee of the Red Cross says a second convoy that was supposed to carry aid to the besieged rebel-held eastern suburbs of Damascus has been postponed because of the violence.
Ingy Sedky, the ICRC spokeswoman in Syria, said Thursday's "convoy is postponed. No confirmation yet on when it will take place."
The postponement came as government forces intensified their offensive on the area, known as eastern Ghouta, under the cover of airstrikes.
Sedky added that "the situation is evolving rapidly on the ground, which doesn't allow us to carry out the operation in such conditions."
Earlier this week, the first convoy in weeks made it into eastern Ghouta, but 14 of the 46 trucks were not able to fully offload critical humanitarian supplies because of stepped-up violence.