Clashes ongoing in Afrin region, two Turkish soldiers killed: Kurdish forces spokesperson
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A spokesperson for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said the fight against Turkish and allied rebel forces is ongoing in Afrin, with two Turkish soldiers killed, and six others injured in clashes on Wednesday.
YPG Spokesperson Brusk Heseke told Kurdistan 24 that their forces are continuing operations against Turkey and its Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters in the Afrin region of Syrian Kurdistan.
Heseke said the clashes on Wednesday killed two Turkish soldiers and took place around the Jandaris-Afrin road near the Turkish border.
“We will not allow Turkey to expand its offensive beyond Afrin, despite their threats and warnings to invade Manbij and Qamishlo [east of Afrin],” he said in a previous interview with Kurdistan 24.
Turkish and Syrian rebel forces overtook the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin on March 18 where they declared full control following a nearly two-month long offensive against the YPG.
Ankara, who launched its military incursion into Afrin in late January, claimed the operation was meant to secure its borders of the Kurdish forces which it argues are an offshoot of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who it labels “terrorists.”
Shortly after the takeover, images and videos circulating on social media showed Turkish-backed FSA fighters looting the property of civilians in Afrin.
Turkey’s operation in the Kurdish-held enclave has killed over 250 civilians—many of the victims, women and children—and displaced hundreds of thousands.
The World Health Organization (WHO) last week called for urgent aid to be distributed to an estimated 167,000 people who have been displaced due to the hostilities in Afrin.
According to WHO, the influx of displaced people has put additional strains on hosting communities with already-overwhelmed health facilities.