Turkish Forces surround Afrin

Turkish armed forces have finally surrounded the City of Afrin in the north-western front as it has gained control of the primary areas in the region. The developments have been confirmed by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR). Turkey had launched Operation Olive Branch in January- a ground and air offensive in Afrin to evacuate YPG fighters from the area.

Turkey has always maintained that YPG is a faction of PKK-the Kurdistan Workers’ Party a banned international outfit. PKK has been in conflict with Turkey for last 3 decades which has resulted in the killing of many thousands of people.

Civilians have already fled the city as the Turkish forces have advanced towards Nubul. Afrin houses nearly 350,000 people which are living in a state of panic. Turkey has also stated that it will further its offensive to Manbij. These developments have caused friction with its long-time NATO ally US which is backing the rebels as they had helped US in the fight against ISIL. Latter has angered Ankara. The US in response to recent developments has cut-back its operations from the Incirlik airbase.

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