Turkish-backed forces capture Afrin

“Al-Masdar news” reports Turkish-backed forces have assumed full control over the city of Afrin in Syria’s Aleppo province following the abandoning of the city and its surrounding countryside by Kurdish fighters. Just over an hour after storming the small city from its southwest and northeast, Turkish-backed militants met in its center.

At the present time, residents from the Afrin area (particularly from the regional capital) and Kurdish fighters alike are streaming towards government lines in long convoys to escape from Turkish-backed forces.

Kurdish sources tell different facts. “Heavy fighting emerged in the north-east part of the besieged city and the clashes between YPG/YPJ and the Turkish army continue since Saturday night. Turkish army also continues to bomb the city center with airplanes and howitzers. Several buildings were destroyed during the bombardment. Internet and telephone lines were also cut off in Afrin and no information could be gathered about the results of the clashes and the bombings.” But the photos are published now with Turkish troops in the center of Afrin…

“Al-Masdar” mentions Kurdish fighters and pro-Kurdish media that paramilitary groups promised to defend the city and the area around it would fight until the last drop of blood and stresses in reality it was abandoned without resistance. But journalists forget their own data about Kurdish loses during the campaign. “Syrian conflict monitor sources are now reporting that from the point of the initial incursion of Turkish-backed forces into Afrin’s countryside until the capture of the regional capital (the city of Afrin) on Sunday, Kurdish paramilitary ranks suffered around 1,500 fighters killed in action. This statistic is far more believable that Ankara’s claim that around four thousand YPG and Islamic State (a complete lie stated for political purposes only) fighters have been killed. In any case, 1,500 fighters is a huge number to lose one one just battlefront during less than two months. Turkish airstrikes and artillery bombardment are widely believed to be the main source of YPG losses since the start of the Afrin operation.”

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