YPG kills 10 in targeted bombing of militant group in Afrin city center

“Our fight in Afrin is to drive out those strangers.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Wednesday said they killed 10 and injured another 20 in an attack on the Turkish army and the rebel al-Hamza Division group on Sunday.

“Within the scope of the resistance in Afrin, our units continue to target the occupying Turkish army elements and their allied terrorist groups,” the YPG said in a statement.

“On Aug. 12, our forces targeted Turkish troops and Firqat al-Hamza (Hamza Division) terrorists with two separate bombing operations on the road leading to the Tirandah neighborhood in Afrin city center,” said it added.

According to the Kurdish forces, “10 terrorists have been eliminated, [and] at least 20 others have been injured as a result of the operation.”

The Turkish army and it’s military police are on high alert in Afrin city since Tuesday night after several attacks by the YPG on Turkish-backed forces.

A report released on Aug. 6 by the Department of Defense Inspector General mentioned that the US stopped funding the Hamza Division in December 2017.

The report mentioned that some of the Liwa al-Hamza fighters, culled from several smaller rebel groups, fought in Afrin against members of the Kurdish YPG.  

Furthermore, it said that “while some insurgent violence continued, Turkey solidified control over Afrin.”

Turkish-backed forces took control of Afrin in March and have brought in settlers from other provinces, like al-Ghouta and Homs.

According to USAID, over 137,000 people were displaced from Afrin.

“Our fight in Afrin is to drive out those strangers,” Nuri Mahmoud, the spokesperson for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), previously told Kurdistan 24.

YPG top commander Sipan Hemo told Asharq al-Awsat last week that the YPG’s military operations in Afrin continue and will grow in intensity over time.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the YPG has carried out over 100 attacks against forces controlling the area.

Turkey claims it has expedited humanitarian efforts to help daily life in the town return to normal, the Turkish pro-government Daily Sabah reported.

The pro-government daily also reported that YPG fighters are believed to be hiding in mountainous areas in Afrin’s northwest Rajo district.

However, a UN report in June detailed large-scale human rights abuses by Turkish-backed forces in Afrin, including looting, the abduction of civilians, confiscation of civilian property, arbitrary arrests, and occupation of homes.

In early August, Amnesty International called on Turkey to rein in rebel abuses.

Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, called Turkey an “occupying power in Afrin,” adding it “is responsible for the welfare of the civilian population and maintaining law and order.”

“So far, [Turkey’s] armed forces have failed utterly in these duties.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany