On February 19, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the villages of Ikidam, Shaltah, and Marsawiyah from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Syrian area of Afrin, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
On the same day, the TAF’s general staff released a statement saying that the TAF and the FSA had ‘neutralized’ 1,641 ‘terrorists’ in the Afrin area since the start of Operation Olive Branch on January 20.
Meanwhile, the Syrian media reported that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is going to enter the Afrin area soon under a deal allegedly reached between Damascus and the YPG. If reports are confirmed, this move will dramatically increase tensions between Damascus and Ankara as well as limit the area of Turkish operations against YPG in northern Syria.
“Popular forces will arrive in Afrin in the next few hours to support the steadfastness of its people in confronting the aggression which Turkish regime forces have launched on the region,” state-run news agency SANA reported, citing its correspondent in the city of Aleppo.