AFRIN, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan 24) – The Turkish military bombarded a mountain chain in Syria’s Kurdish-run region of Afrin near the border with Turkey, people there said on Wednesday.
“They are shelling us with artillery and mortar shells, and even by warplanes,” a roughly 25-year-old man told Kurdistan 24.
In an online statement, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are a leading component, said their forces destroyed a tank belonging to the Turkish military on the Bulbul Mountain front north of Afrin city.
Ongoing clashes in Bulbul and the surrounding village have severely destroyed homes and other infrastructure in the area.
At a front in the Raju district, west of Afrin, there were heavy clashes between the YPG and the Turkish military where Kurdish forces said they seized large amounts of weapons left by the Turkish soldiers who allegedly withdrew from the area.
Last month, Turkey launched a military incursion, dubbed “Operation Olive Branch,” into the Kurdish-held Afrin region of Syrian Kurdistan to sweep the YPG away from its southern border.
Turkey has also threatened to push toward the Syrian town of Manbij, under the control of a YPG-led force, and warned US troops stationed there not to get in the way.
So far, the number of civilians who have lost their lives has reached 180 while 413 have been wounded, an SDF statement said.
Regarding the military casualties on the Afrin side, the SDF said 98 of their fighters had lost their lives since the beginning of the offensive.
The Turkish army and their allies have also lost 98 fighters since the beginning of the Afrin cooperation, according to the SDF statement.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Reporting from Afrin: Kurdistan 24 correspondent Akram Salih)