List of reported developments in northern Syria amidst Afrin conflict

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

Since Ankara launched its offensive against the YPG on January 20 there have been many developments in the battle between Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies and the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey labels terrorists. This post will be a place to provide different developments as they come in and will be updated.

March 18

More than 1,500 YPG members killed in battle – Baghdad Post; final tallies still unknown

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Turkish-backed rebels tear down statue in Afrin

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Afrin taken by Turkish troops and rebel factions

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IHH aid convoy with 12 trucks enters Afrin – Anadolu

Turkish flag raised over Afrin

“Syria’s new exiles, Kurds flee Afrin which was one a haven for refugees.” –Guardian

March 17

Afrin hospital reported struck by Turkey, Turkey disputes claims

Turkish army chief: We have taken three quarters of Afrin

150,000 civilians flee Afrin

March 16

Erdogan speaks with NATO head Stoltenberg

March 15

Turkey says it destroyed bulldozer used to prevent people leaving Afrin

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Dutch parliament votes to condemn Turkey

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Murad Ismael: “In a meeting with Yazidi Syrians today: 1) most of villagers are now displaced to city of , only a few people have managed to exit the city barriers toward the south into the Syrian regime region. 2) Connection with people who left in the villages is mostly lost.1/3″

March 14

American Jake Klipsch reported killed in Syria alongside YPG

Turkey claims YPG trenches prevent civilians leaving Afrin

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March 13

A Kurdish source confirmed that all roads into the city were now being targeted by Turkish shellfire. (BBC news)

Afrin mostly surrounded.

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Situation March 13 (Syria Live UA map)

March 12

Turkey: 3,347 “terrorists neutralized,” four more villages “cleared.”

Reports of civilians fleeing Afrin

March 11

Former French President Hollande: “Those who are attacked today in are those who fought ISIS and are helping the coalition.”

Yaizidi villages threatened: “6th village in , Qibar (6km NW), was occupied by Turkey & its Islamist henchmen today. Qibar has a pilgrimage site of Ezidis. Several years, jihadists tried to destroy the holy place. Now they have raided the village with the help of a Nato member.”

Protests continue throughout EU, including at Kings Cross, UK and Paris

Pro-regime accounts claim Syrian government offered protection to Afrin

French journalist: “I came back from Afrin, a Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria where Turkey & Islamist militias r preparing to commit a bloodshed…There’re fewer deaths than the Ghouta for now, but soon, if nothing is done, Afrin will be worse.”

March 10

Turkey claims 850 sq km has been taken and 3,213 “terrorists neutralized”, also claims that YPG leaders are “fleeing”

Demonstrators in Sulimaniyeh on behalf of Afrin

Turkish President critiques NATO for not supporting Afrin operation

People in Afrin kindle bonfires in protest

In Germany people take to streets to protest for Afrin

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March 9

I published “Why the world turns a blind eye to Afrin”

Turkey signals end to Afrin op, in May

Jandaris completely in hands of Turkish forces

March 8

SDF reinforcement arrive Afrin accounts to video posted 

Turkey says it has killed 3,055 “terrorists”

Reports an Iceland citizen Haukur Hilmarsson was killed fighting in Afrin

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Women’s day for Afrin

March 7

Washington Post looks at how SDF pulled back from ISIS fight “saying they feel let down by US”

A look at YPG defenses and bunkers on Baflioun mountain

MTN Syria telecom tower struck, phones out in Afrin

March 6

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meets with German counterpart Sigmr Gabriel, Turkey requests Saleh Muslim be detained

Pentagon indicates “operational pause” due to Afrin crises

SDF members say they will leave for Afrin

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Doctors in Afrin struggle to cope with injured

Kurdistan 24 Pentagon again confirms that Afrin is a distraction from conflict with ISIS, led to “operational pause”

SOHR: “Fifty-nine Turkish soldiers and 261 members of the pro-Turkey Free Syrian Army (FSA) have died in fighting in the Afrin”

Gabriel Chaim in Jandaris: “Today was very hard day. From 4 am several airstrikes has hit randomly all city.”

March 5

Turkey considers major military call up

Turkey seeks to extradite Saleh Muslim from Germany

Turkey: Half of Afrin under control, “Gov’t spokesman says 702 of 1,920 square kilometers”

Oxfam issues alert for Afrin

Turkish female troops aid operation

Major airstrikes destroys house in Jandaris

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March 4

Turkish Military: “Shaykh al-Hadid, located in the west of Afrin, is the third town center to be liberated since the launch of the operation. Bulbul and Rajo town centers have also been liberated.”

More photos from Rajo show Turkish SAS claiming to have captured the area

Kurdish members of Red Crescent claimed to have been targeted

More video of another “radical” imam who came to border to support Turkish troops

Video claims to show corpse of YPG kicked and thrown in ditch

UN official expressed concern over “disturbing reports” of civilian deaths during military operation by Turkey in Afrin

March 3

36 pro-regime forces killed in Afrin in airstrikes

Anadolu: 2,434 “terrorists neutralized” in Afrin

Russia security council blames US for Afrin op, while Russia MFA says Turkey-Russia will meet March 14

Turkey and YPG contest claims that Turkish forces took Rajo district

March 2

Turkey Def Min: 41 Turkish soldiers, 116 Syrian rebels, killed in Afrin battles

In Manbij, fighters vow to hold the line

Video of civilian women being buried in Afrin

14 pro-regime fighters killed by Turkish airstrikes 

March 1

Mass destruction in Jindires town, filmed from the air

ICRD 29 truck-convoy reaching Afrin via Syrian regime, 50,000 displaced by fighting

February 28

Major Turkish airstrike on Sanare 

Turkey complains after US State Dept suggests Ankara “read more closely” a cease-fire resolution that would include Afrin

Image of a trench dug by YPG in Afrin

Kurdish Red Crescent: 348 civilians killed in Afrin

Turkish military claims 2,100 enemy killed in operation in Afrin

Turkey complains about French presidency stance on ceasefire in Syria

February 27

U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said a cease-fire decision applies for the entirety of Syria, including Afrin

February 26

France: “The president of the Republic stressed that the humanitarian truce applied to all of Syria, including Afrin, and should be implemented everywhere and by all without any delay to stop the spiral of violence in progress.”

Russia calls for “humanitarian pause” in Ghouta, but not Afrin

Turkey says it has cut off all YPG areas from border

Turkey deploys police and gendarmerie in Afrin

Controversy over Erdogan discussing “martyr” on stage with kid

Federica Mogherini calls for de-escalation in all of Syria, including Afrin

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Current map at Twitter screenshot

February 25

UN calls for Syria ceasefire and YPG says it supports ceasefire, does not include Afrin

Salih Muslim detained in Prague

February 24

Protests in Suli and Erbil against Afrin operation

Battles around Rajo village in Afrin and airstrikes on Jinderes

February 23

Turkey claims 1000 villages captured in Afrin

Turkey thanks UK for support in its Afrin campaign

David Graeber at The Guardian asks why world leader back “brutal assault on Afrin

Anadolu: 1,873 “terrorists neutralized” in Afrin operations

Turkey says thousands of Syrian civilians “return” to Afrin

Human Rights Watch: “Turkey’s attacks in Afrin may be unlawful”

US says some YPG from eastern Syria are going to Afrin

Footage from the convoy that was struck

February 22

Kurdish forces leave Aleppo neighborhood of Sheikh Masood, hand it over to Damascus

Video alleged to show civilians murdered

Video of civilians being murdered for their tractor, allegedly in Afrin, posted online

Syria claims it is fighting ISIS in Afrin, Turkey claims the same

A convoy moving into Afrin was struck by artillery fire; Hurriyet says it had 30-40 vehicles

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Convoy driving into Afrin attacked by Turkish artillery

February 21

Syrian state media; “Popular forces” entered Afrin to defend against Daesh, Takfiri terrorists, “Turkish regime and its mercenaries.”

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Pro-Regime fighters said to be near the frontline in Afrin chanting “unified Syria” and holding flags

Parliament Russia Kalashnikov says Turkey has legitimate concerns in Afrin

Wladimir on Twitter: “Tillerson offered 3 things in Ankara last week. 1 is joint patrol by Turkish-U.S. forces in Manbij, the other 1 is a buffer zone in Afrin, & the third one is cutting U.S.-YPG relations gradually. Can you confirm?
Nauert: I cannot confirm”

Who are Liwa al-Baqir

Iran’s role in pro-regime Afrin movement unclear

Turkey accuses French journalist of misleading about number of pro-regime elements that entered Afrin

February 20

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YPG spokesman says that Syrian government had responded to “call of duty” and sent units.

HTS allegedly detains JTS members in Idlib who wanted to fight regime

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Syria live ua map of convoy entering

 

16:00 Convoy of Liwa al-Baqir enter Afrin, targeted by Turkish artillery, some turn back

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Hezbollah station Almanar says convoy shelled by Turkey

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Syrian Civil War Map

Battles for villages near border ongoing

RT: Turkey will lay siege to Afrin in coming days

Anadolu: 1,715 “terrorists neutralized” in Afrin operation

Anadolu: “FSA liberated 79 targets including one center of a district, 53 villages, 20 strategic mountains and hills and 1 YPG/PKK-Daesh base.”

MHP says Afrin will be taken regardless of US stance

Turkish media: 70 Turkish backed fighters killed and 32 soldiers killed in operation

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February 19

Syrian state media SANA reports of Syrian “popular forces” deploying in Afrin against “Turkish aggression” and “terrorists”

Russian Deputy FM Mikhail Bogdanov says willing to mediate Afrin crises

Turkish Foreign Minister warns Syrian regime against protecting YPG in Afrin

YPG says that deal in the works for Syria deployment but says no final deal reached

Turkish President discusses Afrin with Moscow and Tehran 

February 18

Continued rumors of Syrian army deploying in Afrin

Turkish consul in Erbil claims hundreds of attacks had been launched Afrin prior to operation

Turkish media: 1,610 “terrorists neutralized” in Afrin operation

Two foreign volunteers with YPG reported killed in battles, “One from Spain and one from France: ‘Kendal Breizh and Baran Galicia'”

Russia Today reports on Turkish use of gas while Turkish foreign minister accuses RT “stop lying”

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February 17

Kurds accuse Turkey of using gas in attack on village, Turkey denies use, US responds

Turkish Red Crescent hands out aid in Afrin

Dutch government investigates Turkish imam “Jihad sermon

Dewe Jorin near Jindaris captured

February 16

Hirriyet: “When Tahrir al-Sham forces accompany a Turkish military convoy.”

Turkey builds more outposts in Idlib

February 15

Syrian regime ups rhetoric about Afrin amid rumors that Damascus wanted to deploy troops there.

“1,550 terrorists neutralized” – Anadolu

KRG delegation that was in Afrin since February 13 appears to have wrapped up visit.

US Secretary of State Tillerson meets with Turkish President in aftermath of comments about “Ottoman slap.” Meeting goes on for three hours. US State Department released positive statements about working together against

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February 14

Escalating battles breakout in Afrin. “Turkish forces and their Syrian militia allies launched an attack on Dewa village in Jandaris with tanks and heavy weapons.”

1,528 “terrorists neutralized” in operation – Daily Sabah

How AlHurra became one of the only pan-Arab channels reporting in Afrin – Jerusalem Post

February 13

Shelling hits Afrin city according to various reports.

Daily Sabah reports: “If we didn’t care about protecting civilians, we would have flattened Afrin long ago without a single fallen Turkish soldier. We are not cruel and never will be,” Erdogan.

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Turkish Military: 1,439 “terrorists” neutralized

Kurdistan 24: 31 Turkish soldiers killed in operation

Ankara renames street US embassy is located on “Olive Branch” after operation against Afrin, days before Tillerson scheduled to arrive

February 12

Al-Hurra shows footage from  Ain Dara site of damaged archaeological remains allegedly struck by Turkey

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Al-Hurra screenshot

February 11

National Security Advisor McMaster meets with Turkish counterparts, says US will expand work with Turkey “against all forms of terrorism.”

Reuters: Assad quietly aiding YPG

US Secretary of State prepares to head to region and will visit Turkey where he plans to encourage restrain in Afrin

“39 PYD/PKK, Daesh terrorists neutralized in Afrin” – Yeni Safak

11 Turkish soldiers killed in deadliest day of offensive

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February 10

Turkish helicopter shot down over Afrin (some reports said two)

Turkish Republic is continuation of Ottoman Empire” – Turkish President

Astana talks may discuss de-escalation zone in Afrin – Tasnim

Clashes continue near Deir Ballut and Jinderes – various reports

[Israel-Syria clashes after Iranian drone enters Israel and air raids on Iranian and Syrian sites]

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Area of clashes on February 9-10

February 9

Kurdish sources: “Turkey and rebel allies shelling indiscriminately the villages of Malla Khalil, Deir Ballut, Aqchalah and the city center of Jinderes.”

February 8

European parliament condemns Turkey for arresting critics of Afrin operation

[US/SDF clashes with pro-Syrian regime and Iranian-backed forces near Deir ez-Zor]

February 9

Turkey resumes airstrikes in Afrin, after Russia opens “airspace”

February 7

Iran urges Turkey to stop Afrin operation

Reuters: Turkish forces hit school, according to YPG

France accuses Iran and Turkey of violating international law in Syria

February 6

Syria deploys new air defenses in Aleppo and Idlib fronts

Turkey president accuses US of “calculations” against Turkey

Shelling by YPG kills civilians in refugee camp near border

US official says US AID operations moved to Jordan amidst Turkish-US disputes

Turkey says it will hand Manbij back to “original Arab owners”

“970 YPG and ISIS militants neutralized” in Afrin operation

Iran concerned over Afrin offensive

Report: Body of Russian pilot handed by Faylaq al-Sham to Turkish military

Two Turkish soldiers killed

February 5

Turkish military convoy reaches observation post in Aleppo-Idlib countryside, one soldier killed, it is the fourth observation point established

NATO urges US and Turkey to discuss situation

Hurriyet: Turkish tank might have been hit by Russian made weapon

US SecDef feels Afrin a “distraction” but Turkey a key NATO ally, hedging comments on situation

Erdogan meets Pope

Hundreds rally in Afrin against Turkey’s offensive

Anger over video of mutilated body of Kurdish woman in Qurna

SOHR claims a total of 134 FSA and Turkish soldiers have been killed while 106 YPG and 68 civilians

February 4

Turkey suffers worst day of casualties since operation began, eight soldiers killed

Syrian regime and Russian aircraft increase bombing in Idlib

Chlorine gas allegedly dropped on Saraqeb by regime

February 3

Russian plane Sukhoi-25 shot down, pilot killed as Syrian rebels close in

Ankara says Afrin offensive will end soon

February 2

Assyrian militia vows to defend Afrin

February 1

Kurds in Afrin say “curse” of war has arrived, complain of NATO silence

YPG fired rocket hits Turkish border town of Kilis

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January 31

Turkey claims 823 “militants neutralized” and numerous weapons captured

January 30

ReliefWeb claims in Afrin “15,000 people have been internally displaced since 20 January.”

January 29

Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi begins without most of Syrian opposition

January 28

Inside Afrin civilians say they are suffering

Kurdish YPG fighter blows herself up against tank

January 27

SouthFront: Map “Turkish gains in Afrin”

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Map claims to show situation and gains

January 26

International volunteers claim they are heading to Afrin to fight Turkey

UN talks in Vienna on Syria wrap up

January 24

Trump speaks to Erdogan, urges limit to military operation

Afrin branch of Kurdish Red Crescent: “More than 35 civilians killed and more than 110 civilian injured as of 24 January 2018”

January

NATO deputy secretary general praises Turkey’s commitment to democracy and security. NATO says it “stands with Turkey on fighting terrorism.”

January 22

Turkey calls for international support of offensive

January 21

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on summons Russia and the U.S.’s top Ankara-based diplomats to inform them about the ongoing military operation…speaks with France…Ambassadors from the three remaining permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – Britain, France and China – will also be summoned, with Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Kaan Esener set to conduct the talks.

Turkey says operation won’t last very long

Turkish President vows to destroy “terrorists” in Afrin and make it livable for some of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey

FSA: 25,000 Syrian rebels supporting Turkey’s offensive

Turkey says it will create “30 km safe zone” buffer in Afriin

January 20

Turkey launches ground operation against YPG in Afrin with support for Syrian rebels

January 19

Turkmen leader praises Afrin operation before it begins

Syrian regime threatens to shoot down Turkish warplanes over Afrin

January 18

Reuters: Turkey dispatched its military chief to Moscow on Thursday, seeking approval for an air campaign in Syria’s Kurdish-controlled Afrin region, although Damascus warned it could shoot down any Turkish planes in its skies.

January 16 

Tillerson speaks with Turkey FM Mevlut Cavusoglu in Canada, says US training in Syria was “misportrayed”

Turkey estimates 8-10,000 YPG fighters in Afrin canton

January 15

Turkey accuses US of training “terror army” in Syria

 

BACKGROUND

October, 2017, Turkish convoy enters Idlib

“The region’s population was nearly 500,000 before 2011, it is comprised of many towns and circa 380 villages…the area was considered as a safe haven for IDPs from many areas all over Syria, the number of IDPs is roughly 250,000…Current unconfirmed number of the civilians is around 600,000 people including IDPs.” – A report prepared by Shar for development​.

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