ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) said on Tuesday that they had killed three rebels supported by Turkey in a series of military operations in the Afrin region.
"On July 28 our units infiltrated to the area where the headquarters of Sultan Murad Brigade is located and carried out an operation against the mercenaries in Afrin’s Shara district," the YPG said in a statement released on its website. “Two terrorists have been killed and one has been injured as result of the attack.”
The group also announced on the same day that its forces ambushed and killed the commander of a battalion of the Sham Corps in Jinderes, but did not release the commander's name.
Although Kurdish forces lost Afrin to Turkish troops and Syrian rebels on March 18 as a result of Ankara’s “Operation Olive Branch,” the YPG said it would continue its resistance, targeting rebel forces backed by Turkey in Afrin.
The YPG General Command said on Saturday that the people of Afrin “have never given up the resistance against the Turkish occupation” despite forced immigration, ethnic cleansing, looting, theft, and mass killings.
On Sunday, the YPG said that they carried out several attacks on the Turkish army and affiliated rebel groups in Afrin, killing 11.
According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), members of the YPG carry out assassinations against rebel forces with sleeper cells and, in response, Turkish-backed rebels have carried out operations to search for these cells.
“They arrested several people and took them to their headquarters" on the charge of “operating as sleeper cells of the Kurdish forces”,” the SOHR reported last Monday.
According to SOHR, at least 98 attacks were carried out by the YPG against Turkish forces and Syrian rebel forces, through detonation of landmines and IEDs and targeting by missiles using shoulder-fired launchers.
"This resulted in the death of tens of fighters of the factions and the Turkish forces during targeting operations whose pace escalated in the past 3 months,” SOHR said.
According to SOHR, at least 1,542 Kurdish fighters, 609 Syrian rebels, and 83 Turkish soldiers have been killed since Turkey launched its assault on January 20. The YPG, however, claims they have killed 2,541 Syrian rebels and Turkish soldiers in that time.
Analysts say the YPG has continued operations after the fall of Afrin in March 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 John J. Catherine