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.

February 18

Continued rumors of Syrian army deploying in Afrin

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

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 22

Turkey calls for international support of offensive

January 21

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 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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