ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish aircrafts on Tuesday dropped leaflets over the Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) city of Afrin warning civilians as a weeks-long operation against US-backed Kurdish forces continues.
According to sources in the region, the Turkish leaflets encouraged people “to cooperate with the Turkish military operation.”
The leaflet demands that the residents of Afrin not allow their children to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) who are defending against Turkey’s offensive.
The attack on Afrin is now in its eleventh day as dozens of civilians, including children and women, were reported to have been killed by Turkish air raids and shelling.
Kurdistan 24 correspondent Akram Saleh, who arrived in Afrin with his team on Saturday, said the bombing has targeted villages which the Turkish army is seeking to move toward but have not made any progress.
Turkish warplanes began striking the Kurdish city of Afrin on Jan. 20 with ground troops entering the region as well.
The campaign dubbed “Operation Olive Branch” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is meant to clear Syria’s Kurdish-held northwest district of YPG fighters who Turkey claims are an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Ankara has labeled the US-backed Kurdish forces a “terrorist organization” and has been infuriated by Washington’s support for the YPG.
The US, which is backing the Kurds in the ongoing battle against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, said it was concerned and has called on Turkey to limit its military offensive in the Kurdish region of Afrin.