المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

The Turkish forces achieve new advancement and enter the 4th town in Afrin countryside controlling large parts of it

The forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation impose their control over 100 towns and villages in Afrin area most of which were controlled after the entry of the regime forces’ NDF

Aleppo Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Afrin area in the north-western section of Aleppo province, is witnessing ongoing violent clashes in both north-eastern and western sections of Afrin countryside, within the ongoing Operation “Olive Branch” which was launched by the Turkish forces on the 20th of January 2018, in an attempt to impose their control over Afrin area, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the Turkish forces and the rebel and Islamic factions managed to achieve new and important advancement, where they stormed Sharra town and took the control of large parts of the town located in the north-eastern countryside of Afrin, and 2 villages in its vicinity, raising to 100 villages and towns including 2 towns (Raju and Bulbula), and most of Sheikh Hadid town as well as large parts of Sharra town, the number of towns and villages controlled by the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation since the 20th of January 2018, which equivalent to about 29% of the total towns and villages of Afrin, and this advancement is accompanied by intensive artillery and rocket shelling and Turkish bombardment on areas in Afrin countryside and the clash areas.

And with this advancement, the YPG have lost 4 important towns until now between full control and control over large parts of them, they are: Bulbula in the northern countryside of Afrin, Raju in the north-west of Afrin, Sheikh Hadid in the western countryside of Afrin, and Sharra in the north-eastern countryside of Afrin, and only Jendires town and Maabatli town are remaining, as well as Afrin city, and the Turkish forces approached more than 10 km from Afrin city, and the clashes, targeting and mine explosions resulted in the fall of human losses in the ranks of the both parties, where it rose to 366 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 327, 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.

And 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 6th 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 55 villages and the towns including Raju, Sheikh Hadid and Sharra, and became at the outskirts of Jendires town in the southwestern 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, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also documented the death of 19 citizens at least including 2 children and 4 women who were killed on Monday the 5th of March 2018, increasing to 171 Syrian citizens of the Kurds, Arabs and Armenians, including 29 children and 25 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.

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