AFRIN, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan 24) – With the ongoing shelling of Syria’s predominantly Kurdish northwest region of Afrin by the Turkish military, several civilians on Friday said they insist on staying and are not afraid of the bombardment.
During a tour in one of the crowded markets of Afrin city, people told Kurdistan 24 correspondent Akram Salih that they would carry on their work normally and would not let the city suffer from any lack of basic needs.
“Now, Turkey bombards us, but we are not afraid,” Bave Shinda, a roughly 40-year-old man who sells produce, told Kurdistan 24.
“We are not afraid of neither Erdogan nor his army,” he chanted defiantly. “We will fight until the last drop of our blood.”
Additionally, bakeries in the city are still open and provide people with their needs. Bakers say they will not let the city be affected by the war.
“Bread is available for all people,” Bave Shivan, a roughly 50-year-old baker, said.
“Whatever bombardment we suffer, we do not fear, and we will do our best to serve our people,” he added.
The situation in Afrin city is stable so far, except for some bombardment a few days ago.
But, people are concerned that if the fighting continues, there will be a crisis and lack of basic needs, especially as Afrin is besieged from all sides now.
On Jan. 20, Turkey’s operation against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin began and has included heavy bombardment on the countryside and only once on the city a few days ago.
However, there have been limited advances and achievements by its army or allied Syrian rebel groups.
Since the breakout of Syria’s conflict in 2011, the Syrian Kurdish YPG and its allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin which borders Turkey.
Syrian rebel factions, which are fighting alongside Turkey in its offensive, control territory around Afrin. The Syrian army also holds a patch of land bordering the canton.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Kurdistan 24 correspondent Akram Salih in Afrin city)