On February 4, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) entered the villages of Haj Bilal and Shaykh Khurus. YPG/YPJ forces repelled Turkish-led attacks on the villages of Blikah and Shakwarzi where they reportedly destroyed a bulldozer of Turkey-led forces.
Reports also appeared that Faylaq al-Sham, the Free Idlib Army and the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement had sent their fighters to participate in Ankara’s Operation Olive Branch in Afrin. If this is confirmed, soon the YPG/YPJ will face an additional pressure on the ground.
On February 5, clashes continued across the Afrin area with the TAF and the FSA aiming to expand their control over the Syrian-Turkish border. The tactical goal is to link up the FSA-held cvillages north and northwest of Afrin.
On the same day, the Turkish General Staff said that about 950 ‘terrorists’ including mysterious members of ‘Daesh’ [ISIS] had been neutralized in the Afrin area since the start of Operation Olive Branch. The provided number is clearly overestimated as no local sources confirm such casualties of the YPG/YPJ.