Despite hundreds of aerial and artillery strikes…the Turkish forces, the factions and the Gray Wolves control during 11 days 3% of villages of Afrin area
After the death and injury of more than 250 Syrian citizens since the start of Operation “Olive Branch”, hundreds of thousands of residents and displaced people suffer miserable and tragic humanitarian situations
The forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation their first 11 days of their military operation which aims to take the control of Afrin area and end the control of the YPG over this area which is nearly 2400 square km of the north-western section of Aleppo province, and the past few days have witnessed violent clashes since the operation started on the 20th of January 2018, between the Turkish forces, groups of the Gray Wolves, and the rebel and Islamic factions against the YPG and the Self-Defense forces, and the clashes extended from the north-east of Afrin to its north, starting from the area of Jabal Barsaya and Qastal Jendo, passing through Bulbula Township, the north-west of Afrin, Raju Township and the townships of Sheikh Hadid and Jendires, reaching the southern borders of Afrin with the controlled areas of the factions in the western countryside of Aleppo and the outskirts of the northern countryside of Idlib, accompanied by intensive targeting which left a large number of human losses in the ranks of the both parties, where it has increased to 91 at least, the number of the fighters of the YPG and the Self-Defense forces who were killed in the aerial, rocket and artillery shelling, clashes and targeting in Afrin area, while it has increased to 85 at least, the number of the members of the rebel and Islamic factions who were killed clashes and targeting, in addition to 9 soldiers of the Turkish forces, where the YPG still have 4 bodies of them, and the clashes between them resulted in the fall of tens of injuries, captives and missing people in the ranks of the both parties, and the number of casualties may increase because of the presence of serious injuries, and there are information about more human losses in the ranks of the both parties.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the Turkish forces managed with the help of the factions operating within Operation “Olive Branch” and the groups of the Gray Wolves, to advance and control 11 village as well as the strategic mountain of Barsaya, and the percentage of these controlled areas reached about 3% of the total area of the villages of Afrin area which reached 350 villages, and this control came within 11 days as a result of intensive and violent bombardment, as the Turkish attacking helicopters and warplanes targeted Afrin area by hundreds of airstrikes which caused great material damage, and some of them have threatened vital constructions such as Maydanki Dam “the 17th of Nisan Dam” which would flood large spaces of Afrin area in the case of being directly bombed by the Turkish forces after they targeted its vicinity during the past few days by 3 rounds of bombardment, in addition to targeting archeological sites in the areas of Ein Dara, Al-Nabi Hori and Deir Messhmesh in the south and the south-east of Afrin and caused great material damage to Ein Dara area, and the violent bombardment was accompanied by artillery and rocket shelling by the Turkish forces which targeted Afrin area by hundreds of shells and missiles, with the exception of the exchange of targeting in the clash areas between the both parties, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented since the 20th of January 2018, the death of 67 Syrian citizens of the Kurds, Arabs and Armenians including 20 children and 12 citizen women, who used to live in Afrin area or have been displaced to it in the past years, due to the bombardment by the Turkish warplanes and the shelling by the Turkish forces by shells and missiles, while more than 185 others were injured with varying severity, and the number of casualties may increase because of the presence of serious injuries.
This intensive shelling on Afrin area which is semi-besieged, and which has only one corridor with the control areas of the regime forces and the YPG-held areas in Aleppo through the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa which are controlled by the regime forces and gunmen loyal to them, which resulted in dropping and worsening the humanitarian situation of the residents of Afrin area and other hundreds of thousands of the displaced people who have been displaced to it in the past months and years, from the Syrian provinces, in which the residents suffer from the start of the decline in alimentary aid, supplies, medicine and foodstuffs, specially among the displaced people who have nothing except the aid distributed to them regularly, while the checkpoints of Bashkuy and Duwayr Al-Zaytun as well as the checkpoints of the 4th division at the Industrial area in Sheikh Najjar, prevent thousands of displaced people to reach their homes and their relatives’ homes in the controlled areas on the Kurdish units (YPG) in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsood and Al-Ashrafiyah in Aleppo city.