The Turkish forces impose their full control on the entire area of Afrin amid the continuation of the resistance in some areas
About 2 months of Operation “Olive Branch” claim the lives of about 2400 citizens, fighters, soldiers and members of the Turkish and Kurdish forces, the opposition factions and the regime forces’ NDF
Aleppo Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Turkish forces managed to impose their control over the entire area of Afrin, after military operations continued since the 20th of January 2018, through which the Turkish forces and the Syrian rebel and Islamic opposition factions managed to advance and take the control of Afrin city and the towns of Bulbula, Raju, Sheikh Hadid, Jendires, Maabatli, Meidan Ekbis, Sharra and hundreds of villages in Afrin area, while there are remaining pockets of fighters who refused to withdraw with the Kurdish forces which withdrew from Afrin area, and who are still fighting inside the city, amid shelling targeting them in an attempt by the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation to finish sweeping the city, which witnessed today morning raising the Turkish flags on main headquarters of the Kurdish forces and the self-management in Afrin district, and destroying the statue of the Kurdish historical symbol “Kaveh the Blacksmith”, the statue which was placed in the city about 4 years ago.
Reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that a large number of villages subjected to robberies by the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation led by the Turkish forces, where the machineries and agricultural tools have been seized and the houses have been robbed, and sources confirmed to the SOHR that some citizens found that their houses are empty and their agricultural machineries and tools have been seized, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published today morning, that 1500 fighters at least of the YPG and the Self-Defense forces, were killed since Operation “Olive Branch” started on the 20th of January 2018, until now, while clashes are accompanied with renewed shelling which caused more human losses, where it rose to 496 including 78 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 91 members at least of regime forces’ NDF were killed in the Turkish shelling since they started to enter on the 20th of February 2018, and the SOHR also documented 289 including 43 children and 28 citizens, the number of civilians of the al-Kurds, Arabs and Armenians, who were killed in the Turkish aerial, artillery and missile shelling, and in executions against several citizens in Afrin area since the 20th of January 2018, also the shelling injured hundreds of citizens with varying severity.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights received a video showing a fighter of the factions of “Olive Branch” Operation talking to an old woman –who stayed in her village- in which he made fun of her, and he ended his talk –talking to the woman- after promising to reach Iraq, saying: “you need a country.. you need to slayed from here”, also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights received copies of audio recordings of commanders and members of the factions operating in the “Olive Branch” Forces; threatening to go to Manbij and the Syrian Jazeerah and reach al-Ya’rubiyah Crossing in the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi border triangle when they are done with Afrin, while clashes are accompanied with renewed shelling which caused more human losses, also the SOHR obtained a copy of a video shot by a member of “Olive Branch” Operation Forces, in which he said that he is in Al-Shiekh Hadid town, which was confirmed by sourced to the Observatory. The fighter said in this video: “this is the fully liberated Sheikh Hadid free of separatist terrorist, and I urge the brothers and displaced people, who were displaced from Al-Raqqa, Al-Tabqa and other areas controlled by the separatist betrayals, to come and take a house with an olive land”. This video comes after other videos obtained by the SOHR which show fighters of Operation “Olive Branch” threatening the inhabitants of Afrin, directing their message through one of the fighters who said “to the Kurdish infidels, we inform you that if you turn to God in repentance, you have to know that you are our brothers, but if you do not, then we see your heads have been ripe and we have come to pick them up”, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights mentioned that the video is likely to be filmed in the Sheikh Hadid area in the western countryside of Afrin, from one of the villages controlled by Turkish forces and the rebel and Islamic factions. Afrin area has witnessed similar calls from other to settle Syrian people displaced from other provinces inside these villages.