We now know with certainty that the USrael backed terrorists of PKK/YPG have been forced out of Afrin- Be mindful that this aspect of the Syrian conflict is not yet over.
The Kurdish administration of Syria’s Afrin region indicated on Sunday that Kurdish-dominated forces fighting Turkey-backed groups in the area will shift from direct confrontation to guerrilla tactics.
“Our forces are present all over Afrin’s geography. These forces will strike the positions of the Turkish enemy and its mercenaries at every opportunity,” Othman Sheikh Issa, co-chair of the Afrin executive council, said in a televised statement.
Read the next bit of unbelievable spin from the fearless Kurdish fighters...“Our forces all over Afrin will become a constant nightmare for them.”
Issa said Kurdish fighters had shown “unparalleled steadfastness and resistance” in the fight, but that Kurdish authorities had decided to evacuate civilians from Afrin “to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe”.Kurdish authorities decided to evacuate civilians to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe? Unadulterated rubbish!
What more sensibly occurred was the 'brave' Kurdish fighters took some human shields along with them to reduce the likelihood of them being killed as they fled in a cowardly fashion from Afrin.
Turkish-led forces have captured the northern Syrian town of Afrin from Kurdish fighters, Turkey’s president said Sunday, in a potential turning point for his two-month-old campaign to expel U.S.-backed Kurdish forces from the border area.My hope is that the Syrian flag will, once again, fly over the area. But for the time being there is no possibility of that occurring. For the simple, obvious reason that SAA cannot keep the US backed Kurdish proxies away from the Turkish border.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech the flags of Turkey and its Free Syrian Army allies had been raised in the center of Afrin as the “terrorists have fled”. "As of 0830 this morning, the Free Syrian Army, with the support of the Turkish Armed Forces, have gained total control over Afrin town center,” Erdogan said on Twitter.
The capture of Afrin could propel Erdogan to expand the offensive to push the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from the border and quash aspirations of Kurdish self-rule. Turkish authorities see the YPG as an extension of PKK militants who have been battling for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for decades. Turkish commandos have also been fighting PKK militants in northern Iraq since last week, state-run TRT television reported Sunday.
There was no immediate comment from the YPG or the Syrian government.
Turkey has already said it had no intention of handing over Afrin to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and the area would be ruled by locals.I'm still looking for a complete quotation of the statement made regarding Afrin by Turkish authorities. Out of context doesn't count. Nor do eye catching headlines.
Ali Serdar Erdurmaz, an analyst with Hasan Kalyoncu University based in Gaziantep province near the Syrian border, said the victory would embolden Erdogan, who has urged the U.S. to ensure the YPG also withdraws from the town of Manbij, further east.
If that happens, Turkey would control a large chunk of northern Syria from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean coast, in effect blocking the formation of a Kurdish statelet in the area, Erdurmaz said. “The capture of Afrin ensures that Turkey will have a say in its future,” he said.Turkish authorities have stated clearly, concisely and repeatedly this route to the Mediterranean was their red line. I'm pretty sure Iran is ok with this too.
Turkish troops are now sweeping Afrin for booby-traps and explosives, believed to have been planted by fleeing Kurdish fighters, CNN-Turk television said Sunday. Civilians welcomed the Free Syrian Army as they entered Afrin. Television footage showed residents showering them with rice from balconies while some rebels kissed the ground and fired into the air in celebration.
Daily Sabah- link under image
Turkish forces took complete control of Afrin town center early Sunday morning as part of Operation Olive Branch.
Civilians waved to the Turkish and FSA troops and chanted slogans in their support.
Many drove their cars to the town center where they gathered and honked to celebrate the victory.
Anadolu Agency correspondents in the region saw several buildings and vehicles which had been set ablaze by terrorists.
Security forces are searching houses to capture any terrorists who are hiding among civilians.