Since the entry of regime forces’ NDF to Afrin; the Turkish forces control villages more than the number of villages they controlled during the first month of their operation
Continued increase in casualties raises the number of members of the Turkish forces who were killed in Afrin clashes to about 70, out of about 850 casualties of civilians and fighters
The clashes continues with the continued escalation of the Turkish shelling machine on Afrin area, which is feared to be besieged and trapping more than 1 million of its inhabitants of Afrin area and displaced people, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the continuation of shelling by Turkish Forces on villages and towns of Afrin, in conjunction with the violent clashes between YPG and the Self-Defense Forces against the rebel and Islamic factions and the Turkish Forces, as a result of the continued attack by the latter on the area, in order to expand their controlled area even more, having controlled the second town in Afrin, where until now, the Turkish Forces control 93 villages and 2 towns (Raju and Bulbula), equivalent to more than 27% of the total towns and villages of Afrin.
These accelerated control operations came after the entry of the regime forces’ National Defense Forces (NDF) to Afrin area, since the 20th of February 2018, where since the mentioned date until the 4th of March 2018; the Turkish Forces and the factions have taken control of more than what they have controlled during the first month of their operations, where the number of areas that have been controlled by Operation “Olive Branch” since the entry of NDF is 49 villages and the town of Rajo, the Turkish forces were also able to enter Sheikh Hadid town and became at the outskirts of Jendires town in the southwestern countryside of Afrin, and the vicinity of Sharra town in the northeastern countryside of Afrin, along with controlling more than half of Midanki lake aka “17 Nisan” lake, and reaching an area about 12 km away of the important city of Afrin, where this period witnessed the death of at least 58 members of regime forces’ NDF, where they entered earlier in an agreement between the Kurdish Forces and the regime forces, which allows forces of the latter to be deployed in Afrin area, which is witnessing an attack by Turkish Forces and opposing Syrian factions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the number of civilian casualties as well as the fighters of the “Olive Branch” Operation and the Kurdish forces, where it rose to 334 including 68 soldiers of the Turkish forces, the number of the members and fighters of the Turkish forces and the factions who were killed in the clashes against the Kurdish Units in Afrin area, while it rose to 302, the number of fighters of the YPG and the Self-Defense forces who were killed in the shelling and clashes in Afrin countryside, also hundreds of citizens, fighters and soldiers were injured with different severity, some of them have permanent disabilities, while the SOHR documented the death of 58 members at least of the regime’s popular forces as a result of the Turkish aerial and artillery shelling, and the SOHR also documented the death of 151 citizens including 27 children and 21 women, who were killed in the Turkish aerial, rocket and artillery shelling, and executions carried out against citizens in Afrin area, since the 20th of January 2018, while hundreds others were injured with varying severity, some of them have permanent disabilities.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had obtained information from several reliable sources, and it was published this morning confirming that there are significant difficulties about the displacement of the citizens from Afrin area to the regime’s controlled areas in Aleppo, where the checkpoints of the regime forces and gunmen loyal to them impose tributes range from 1000$ to 2200$ on a single person, in return for allowing him cross towards Aleppo city, amid fear of trapping more than one million people of the residents of Afrin area and those who have displaced to it during the past few months and years from different Syrian areas.
Link of a high resolution map of the advancement of the Turkish Forces and the factions of “Olive Branch” Operation in Afrin area and its control over 95 towns and villages since the 20th of January 2018