On February 18, Sheikho Bilo, an official of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Rudaw TV [based in Iraqi Kurdistan] that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is set to enter Afrin area on February 19 as a part of an agreement reached between the Damascus government and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
According to Bilo, the agreement is “only militarily” and it is mainly aimed at protecting the border of the Afrin area. The PYD official didn’t provide any further details.
Several Syrian opposition and local sources from the Afrin area confirmed that an agreement had been reached and said that the SAA is preparing to enter Afrin in 24 hours. However, the YPG is yet to confirm Rudaw’s report.
The Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV reported on February 15 that the Damascus government and the YPG had reached an agreement regarding Afrin area. However, the YPG’s media adviser Rezan Hido denied that an agreement was reached on February 17 but said that negotiations between the two sides are ongoing.
In the last 48 hours, the Turkish Army and its proxies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) didn’t launch any ground attack in Afrin. This could mean that the Turkish side is now waiting results of the negotiations between Damascus and the YPG. If the YPG rejects the deal with the SAA, Turkish attacks will likely be resumed.