ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced on Friday that they killed at least nine Turkish-backed Syrian rebels between July 29 and Aug. 2 as part of attacks in Syria’s Kurdish enclave of Afrin.
“On July 29 our units targeted a military vehicle belonging to the terrorists of Ahrar al-Sham on the road between villages of Faferteen and Burj Haidar of Afrin’s Sherawa district. The car has been destroyed but the number of casualties couldn’t be determined,” the YPG press office said in a statement.
Moreover, the group said it targeted the Hamza Brigade on Monday with a motorcycle bomb in the Basutah village of Afrin’s Sherawa district. “A Turkish soldier and 4 mercenaries have been killed, 3 others have been injured seriously in the action,” the statement said.
Although the YPG lost Afrin to Turkish troops and Syrian rebels on March 18 as a result of Ankara’s “Operation Olive Branch,” the group said it would continue its resistance, targeting rebel forces there.
On Thursday, according to the statement, the group ambushed a jeep carrying a number of rival fighters in the village of Kimara, in Afrin’s Sherawa district. “A Turkish soldier and 3 terrorists have been killed, 2 others have been injured.”
The YPG General Command last week said 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.
Turkish forces occupying Afrin are giving allied Syrian armed groups free rein to commit serious human rights abuses against civilians, Amnesty International said in a report released on Thursday.
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 Syrian rebel groups 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