ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Thursday said they carried out a series of operations in Afrin in early August, killing at least six combatants.
“During the first week of August, our units carried out a series of operations in Afrin city center and the villages of the Sherawa and Jinderes districts. As a result, many terrorists were killed,” the YPG said in a statement.
“On Aug. 6, an explosive device was detonated under the military vehicle belonging to the Failaq Sham terrorist group on the road between the villages of Kibashin and Burj Haidar in Sherawa district. The vehicle was destroyed, and one of the mercenaries was killed,” it added.
Although the Kurds lost Afrin to Turkey and Syrian rebels on March 18 as a result of the Olive Branch Operation, the YPG say they will continue their resistance, targeting rebel forces backed and settled by Turkey in the former Kurdish-held enclave.
The YPG General Command previously said the people of Afrin “have never given up the resistance against the Turkish occupation” despite forced immigration, ethnic cleansing, looting, theft, and mass killings.
The Kurdish forces also said they targeted a Turkish armored vehicle on the road between Afrin city center and Jinderes district. “The operation resulted in the destruction of the vehicle, death of two Turkish soldiers, and the injury to three others,” the YPG statement said.
Moreover, on the same day, the Kurdish forces targeted the military police of the Turkish-backed groups in Afrin’s city center, killing three and wounding seven others.
In response, between Aug. 5 and 6, the Turkish army and the Islamist militants carried out many combing and search operations in the villages of Afrin’s Rajo, Bulbul, and Shia districts, “yet they ended without results,” the YPG said.
Nouri Mahmoud, the spokesperson of the YPG, told the official website of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Wednesday that YPG operations in Afrin continue.
“Our work for liberating Afrin from the Turkish army and its armed mercenaries is ongoing, and in this context, we are preparing for plans.”
Regarding Idlib, the YPG official said there is no difference for the YPG between Afrin, Jarabulus, Bab, Azaz, or Idlib. “All these areas are occupied, and for this reason, we are obliged to work for liberating Afrin and all the other Syrian cities,” Mahmoud said.
Moreover, he affirmed they are ready to participate in any operation in Sweida if the population of the area requests that. “We will be ready for that.”
Analysts say the YPG is trying to make it as difficult as possible for the Turkish army and rebel forces to control the region.
“There are Turkish forces in Afrin and the YPG views them as illegitimate and has maintained that it will punish those forces,” Aaron Stein, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, told Kurdistan 24.
“Afrin still isn’t stable after [Operation] Olive Branch, and there are worrying signs that an insurgency is taking hold.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany