In the first month of the “Olive Branch”…Turkey expand its border influence inside Syria…about 600 citizens, soldiers and fighters were killed…vital constructions were targeted

Operation “Olive Branch” completes today the 20th of February 2018, its first month since it was launched by the Turkish authorities on the 20th of January 2018, in order to take the control of Afrin area, which is controlled by the Kurdish forces, and located in the north-west of Syria, specifically in Aleppo province, thus, Afrin area witnessed military operations represented by Turkish aerial, artillery and rocket shelling on Afrin city and the townships of Sharra, Bulbula, Raju, Sheikh Hadid, Jendires, Shirawa and their countryside as well as other villages related to these townships.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored today, Thursday, that the Turkish forces and their allied Syrian rebel and Islamic opposition factions, completed to unite their controlled areas on the northern border line of Afrin with Turkey, to impose their control over about 50 km of this border, and to expand their control to more than 150 km from the west of the Euphrates River to Shenkal area in the north-west of Afrin, and this control came after the Turkish forces expanded their control and after they managed to take the control of Arab Wayran area separates between Jabal Barsaya and the rest of the controlled areas of the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation on the northern border line of Afrin with Turkey, expanding the control of the Turkish forces and their allied factions participating in the operation, to 45 villages at least as well as Bulbula town, and the Turkish forces are fighting desperately to impose their control over the entire border line between Afrin, Iskenderun and Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the human losses caused by aerial, artillery and rocket shelling in which the SOHR has documented since the 20th of January 2018, the death of 112 Syrian citizens of the Kurds, Arabs and Armenians, of the residents of Afrin city or have displaced to it, including 23 children and 17 citizen women, as the number of casualties has increased after documenting casualties who were killed during the second week of shelling of Afrin, and extracting more bodies under the rubble of the destruction caused by the heavy shelling on the area, while tens others were injured with varying severity, some of them have amputated limbs and permanent disabilities, and the numbers of human losses have also escalated in the ranks of the both conflicting parties, where it has increased to 244, the number of the members of the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation who have been killed in this operation since it was launched on the 20th of January 2018, they are 39 casualties of the Turkish forces, and 205 fighters of the Syrian rebel and Islamic opposition factions, while it has increased to 219 at least, the number of the fighters of the YPG and the Self-Defense forces who were killed in these military operations, the aerial and artillery shelling and the targeting, while tens of members of the both parties were injured with varying severity, which may raise the death toll even more.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also monitored during the first month of Operation “Olive Branch”, repeated targeting to positions in the south, the north and the north-east of Afrin city, targeting vital constructions where the artillery Turkish shelling targeted the area of Afrin Hospital, and a school in its countryside, and the warplanes targeted Maydanki Dam “the 17th of Nisan Dam” causing material damage, amid tension and fears of citizens for destroying the dam which would flood large spaces of Afrin, and the warplanes carried out several raids since Operation “Olive Branch” was launched on the 20th of January 2018, on 3 archeological sites, which are Deir Messhmesh area in the south-east of Afrin, Al-Nabi Hori area in the north-east of Afrin, and Ein Dara archeological area in the south of Afrin, and the strikes resulted in material damage in the areas of Deir Messhmesh and Al-Nabi Hori, and caused great destruction to Ein Dara area, and this intensive shelling on Afrin area which is semi-besieged, and the targeting of the archeological sites by the Turkish warplanes, caused rage among locals, who accused the Turkish forces of an attempt to eliminate the archeological sites that represent the civilizations in the area of Afrin.

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