Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch – January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch against Kurdish YPG/YPJ forces in Syria’s Afrin entered the third day. According to the Turkish newspapaer Haberturk, 6,400 servicemembers of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are involved in the operation. The newspaper added that the following 2 days of the operation, the TAF advanced 7.5km and captured 9 villages.

On January 22, pro-Kurdish sources claimed that YPG members destroyed 2 more Turkish battle tanks in Afrin. However, these reports like the previous “3 destroyed battle tanks” were not confirmed by any photos or videos also. Meanwhile, Turkey-led forces captured the villages of Sheikh Hrouz, Sheikh Bassi, Merso and Haftar from YPG/YPJ forces.

In turn, a representative of the Syrian Kurdistan in Moscow, Rodi Osman, claimed that YPG/YPJ forced the TAF and pro-Turkish armed groups to retreat from all the captured territory.

“Turkish forces and related groups tried to cross over to the territory of the Syrian city of Afrin with the support of the Air Force and missile strikes. However, the Syrian Democratic Forces struck at five positions,” the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik quoted Osman. “Those areas to which they crossed, they left, as the Kurds struck and forced them to retreat.”

Osman added that 10 Turkish soldiers and 20 pro-Turkish militants were killed in the clashes. However, pro-Turkish sources have already released enough photos and videos to confirm that statements that the TAF had achieved no gains in Afrin are baseless.

Pro-Turkish militants are in Sheikh Hrouz:

The Turkish Prime Ministry’s Office of Public Diplomacy also released an official list of the reasons of the ongoing military operation. The Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu provided a translation of the released note dubbed “What Turkey aims to do with Afrin operation”:

* To ensure the Turkey-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA) takes control of a 10,000-square kilometer area.

* Following on from the Euphrates Shield Operation and the operation in Idlib, to completely prevent the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from reaching the Eastern Mediterranean.

* To eliminate the possibility of losing Turkey’s geographical contact with the Arab world.

* To ensure the security of our borders with Syria.

* To prevent the infiltration of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the PKK into Turkey through the Amanos Mountains.

* To prevent a terrorist organization from opening to the Mediterranean and to the world from here

* To ensure the security and continuation of the Euphrates Shield Operation area.

* To take control of the Tel Rifaat region and ensure the return of civilians to their homelands.

* To counter U.S. support for a terrorist organization.

The office also added three articles stating “Why Afrin is important to Turkey,” cited as follows:

* Afrin is critical in maintaining the security of Turkey’s border provinces and ensuring the security of the Euphrates Shield Operation area.

* The presence of terrorist organizations in Afrin means that the whole of the southern Turkish province of Kilis and most of the Hatay province are within range of terrorist organizations.

* Turkey sees the merging of the Kobane area with Afrin as the most important pillar of the “Kurdish corridor” project.

Turkish battle tanks involved in the opearion:

Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Pro-Turkish militants involved in the opeartion:

Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch - January 22, 2018 (Videos, Photos)

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  • Honda HSV 10 GT

    Southfront is becoming very pro Turkish, a pity.

    • Ivanus59

      No. If this was pro-Turkish then you are dumb. -.- This was a objective report.
      Do YPG have some photos of dead Turkoids or their destroyed vehicles? I’d love to see them.
      Photos here are simply to show us the scale of the operation.

    • Barba_Papa

      If it is then its a ‘the enemy (Turkey) of my enemy (SDF) is my friend kind of thing I guess.

  • Bolter10

    Syria is being divided up.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      thanks putin!

  • s Slippy

    Well done by Turkey, it seems the operation is a success beyond imagining. Not a single of the 72 fighter air planes have been so much as scratched, 11 villages already captured and 198 successful airstrikes on YPG/PKK targets.

    After the entire Afrin area is liberated Erdogan should uphold his promise to make the majority of the 3 million arab refugees return to their homeland.

    • Ivanus59

      He is gonna cram all 3 million of them in Afrin? lol

      • s Slippy

        Manbij is next boy, the arabs were ethnically cleansed from their villages and will return to their homeland whether its Manbij, Afrin or any other part of Syria

        • Graeme Rymill

          Manbij should be a line in the sand for the US in its support of SDF. There are lots of claims by Assadists commenting on SouthFront that the US will abandon the Kurds. SDF seized Manbij from ISIS. The US has publicly stated it will support those who have helped it in its fight against ISIS. If the Turks or their allies attack Manbij this public US commitment will be put to the test.

          • javier

            please this all an inside job between the us and turkey-the end result will be the US has its giant garrison and turkey has its border buffer, kind of what was talked about 3 years ago

          • Ronald

            There you have it , “ideal” , Turkish-American deal .

          • Graeme Rymill

            So your prediction is that Turkey will advance on Manbij and no military response from the US will occur. That is the test then of both your theories and of mine.

          • Tudor Miron

            Yes, this will be interesting. So far US is not jumping to the resque of Kurds as far as I can see.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Graeme is always a fool as this would mean that the Kurds should leave Tabqah also ,lol.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Field Marshall Terra Coota Woolpuller: the greatest military mind of our day has spoken! If he says that I am a fool then who am I to argue with this intellectual colussus…..

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Wow ! Seems you are always missing the obvious at times as they had crossed the Euphrates after this was said, so meaning it was never an intention to not cross. They used it as propaganda media ploy, so never believe what they say but in what they do.

            Logic and watching their actions can be done by anyone who pays attention no intellectual colossus required there, unless you need it.

            Who am I to argue about the compliment calling me “the greatest military mind of our day has spoken” since it is just your opinion, it will be accepted in the manner it was given.

          • Graeme Rymill

            “they had crossed the Euphrates after this was said, so meaning it was never an intention to not cross.”

            Classic Woolpuller! incoherent nonsense…no dates…..no locations…no context…just verbal diarrhea

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Let’s see the article you referenced was in 2016 and the crossing at Tabqa dam in 2017 but no here you go again making utter verbal nonsense you spout. You are an embarrassment at trying to make an argument when all these things are common knowledge.

            You really talk out your ass as everyone says.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Here’s the August 2016 comments by US Vice President Biden:

            “And the Prime Minister explained precisely the arrangement that we have
            relative to both Jarabulus and the commitment we made with regard to
            Manbij. We have made it absolutely clear to the elements that were part
            of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the YPG that participated, that they
            must move back across the river. They cannot, will not, and under no
            circumstances get American support if they do not keep that commitment,
            period. ”
            https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/08/25/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-and-turkish-prime-minister-binali

            See these words “the commitment we made with regard to Manbij” – no mention of Tabqa or any other part of Syria – only Manbij. So nothing to do with Tabqa Dam. It was the Kurdish thrust to the east and the potential creation of a Kurdish corridor to Afrin that the Turks were worried about. The Manbij agreement had nothing to say about a thrust southwards (away from Turkey and over 110km away from Manbij by road) to take Tabqa Dam that occurred seven months after this.

            You say “these things are common knowledge”. You, Woolpuller, are a buffoon who has no knowledge, common or otherwise.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Why do you always leave out key information like things as promising not to cross east of the Euphrates , seems you are the obvious buffoon . Then you wonder why I ignored you for so long.

            The NATO coalition also promised this but like you they lie and think omitting parts thereof is to their advantage but only part of a deception.

          • Graeme Rymill

            “you always leave out key information like things as promising not to cross east of the Euphrates”

            It isn’t in the official White House press release that I linked to. As far as I can tell this is a verbatim (word for word) account of the press conference.

            I would ask you for a source for your claim but that is a always a forlorn hope with you……. you are the ultimate bullshitter.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            The agreement was made well before they crossed and ordered the SDF cross, why do you think the US referenced the deal over flying. We all know their keeping agreements and since you want to play ignorant going to put you on ignore again.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Ignored by the Field Marshall!!!!!! How am I going to make it through the day :-(

            As usual Woolpuller cannot substantiate his claims…

            “why do you think the US referenced the deal over flying.” ????? what does that even mean???? Who referenced? Biden? What deal over flying? I gave you the Biden quote… give me the reference to some deal about flying….I find your ramblings impossible to decipher..

          • Graeme Rymill

            My prediction, as you may recall, was that absent of a public commitment by the US, the US wouldn’t come to the rescue of the Afrin Kurds. They will of course try diplomacy but not military intervention.

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Something you always miss as diplomacy is the way to do this properly and if Turkey refuses to listen at the UNSC, then this would be an opportunity to name Turkey Rogue requiring every nation to attacking it in every manner possible. Then we see that then Turkey can then be subdivided as per UN mandate this is a clever trap laid for Turkey. Well that is theworst case scenario , but more than likely they will withdraw and eventually be removed from Syria by a UN vote helping to preserve somewhat of the Syrian Sovereignty. Things like this has so many under layers and complexities never know who is pulling the strings in manipulating these types of situations

          • Graeme Rymill

            ” to name Turkey Rogue requiring every nation to attacking it in every manner possible”

            Do you actually believe the drivel you write?

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Well like I said the UN could use this as it is an option open to be used by the UN Secretary General and the UN, apparently you understand less than you think. This wouldn’t work as an option against the US as it would be more divisive, Turkey on the other hand out of favor with the EU ,etc., not so difficult.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Please cite me the section of the UN Charter or other UN official document that outline the process whereby nations can be named as “rogue requiring every nation to attacking it in every manner possible”

            Oh I forgot you don’t cite stuff – you only make stuff up….

          • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

            Well not going to look it up for you , seems you are too lazy and cheap to get the Charter and look it up for yourself. Try Chapter 7.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Yes of course the Security Council can authorise armed force by member states against a nation.

            “rogue requiring every nation to attacking it in every manner possible” – that’s the over the top, exaggerated writing of a ten year old child

          • observerBG

            Actually the US said during OP Euphrates Shield that the Kurds must stay east of the river. Turkey says that the US did not follow on its part of the deal and did not force YPG to move away from Manbij after it was taken from ISIS.
            So the turks say we will just enforce what was already in the US – Turkey deal. In other words the US will not support the kurds in Manbij, but will probably support them if further attacks occur east of the river.

            US VP: YPG must retreat east of Euphrates or lose US support

            http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/240820163

          • Graeme Rymill

            The agreement was that the Kurdish elements of the SDF would go back east but the Arab elements of the SDF could stay in Manbij. . If this retreat of the SDF Kurds actually happened I don’t know.

            That agreement was made by Biden and Obama. Trump and his advisors have not since repeated the undertaking. There have been several reports of US military based around the Manbij area. There have also been recent US comments on supporting those who have fought side by side with the US against ISIS. I therefore see no sign that Manbij is seen as an exception to that recent undertaking of support. If and when the Turks make good their threats against Manbij we shall see what if any response comes from the US.

          • observerBG

            The Turkish-backed “Syrian Interim Government” has announced that military operations with Turkish-backing has not only begun in Afrin, but also in Manbij.

            Manbij is significant as unlike in Afrin, where operations have already begun, it hosts US military personnel illegally operating in Syria.

            Turkey as a NATO member, just like the US, could see their partners fleeing as the Turkish military and its proxy forces advance against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

            Overnight, underground cells of the Free Syrian Army distributed letters to civilians to tell them about the upcoming operation.

            http://www.fort-russ.com/2018/01/big-turkish-backed-operations-against.html

          • Graeme Rymill

            If that is true.. then we will know soon enough

    • Barba_Papa

      Why should any of the fighter jets be scratched though? It’s quite hard to down a modern fighter jet with just MANPAD’s and some cannons mounted on the back of a pickup truck, IF you don’t have an integrated air defense network. Which not even the SAA has anymore, let alone the Kurds.

      • s Slippy

        If you are not able to rid the turks of their aerial advance the kurds will be annihilated, even a child knows this.

        I don’t even understand the purpose of your comment.

        • Graeme Rymill

          Aerial dominance = certain victory?

          Let’s cast our mind’s back……

          Mujahideen against Russian air power in Afghanistan

          Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army against USAF in Vietnam

          • s Slippy

            Why do you people always have to spread lies and deceit?

            Do not compare previous failed invasions of other nations with Operation” Olive branch” : the terrains, boots on the ground and aerial advance is completely different.

            There are 72 unopposed fighter Jets wrecking havoc on a a small area such as Afrin on top of this there are thousands of organised FSA troops who are being supported by the highly regarded Turkish army.

            I do not believe in propaganda I believe in actions, whats happening in Afrin is the only truth I go by

          • dutchnational

            Better than to believe in actions, you can believe in facts. Whether TuAF can gain a victory based upon air superiority, is debatable but the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say. If Turkey can gain a victory solely based upon airsuperiority, chapeau.

            Military wisdom is an airforce cannot gain you the ground and cannot hold you the ground. One needs ground forces and that is exactly what might be the weak point in Turkish strategy.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            Whether TuAF can gain a victory based upon air superiority

            VX bombs and the deRATisation is successfully.

          • Harry Smith

            I think, Vietnam and Afghanistan were lost mainly because of internal issues of USA and USSR. Hippies and pacifists in USA and Perestroyka in USSR.

          • Graeme Rymill

            I can’t decide if you are being deliberately argumentative or just obtuse! “s Slippy” seems to think it is all over already in Afrin because of the total dominance of Turkey in the air. I merely pointed out some examples where it ain’t necessarily so….

            Why the US lost in Vietnam and the Russians in Afghanistan is besides the point. The point is that, under the right circumstances, you can have total air dominance and still lose a war.

          • Harry Smith

            Yep. You are right. But I added the reason why total air dominance can’t help to win a war. In the Iraq war or in Lybia the air dominance was one of the reasons of the victory. And I’m not seeing any major internal issues in Turkey right now. Anyway, I think we will see very soon who’s version was more realistic.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Don’t get me wrong – I am not making a prediction that the Afrin Kurds will win or even fight it out to a draw. The odds are stacked against them. But to say after just 2 days that the Turks have won as Slippy claims is a nonsense. There are question marks over the fighting qualities of the Turkish allies especially after the al-Bab fighting. Also the morale of the Turkish Army and Air Force is an unknown given the recent purges. The terrain in some parts of Afrin may aid the defenders. And finally the Syrian Government (and maybe the Russian government) may decide to feed weapons to the Afrin Kurds either to help them or to prolong the struggle to exhaust both sides. Too many imponderables…

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          Aerial bombardment has it’s place in war but not by any stretch of the imagination decisive part of it. You need to realize without boots on the ground it is largely ineffective , leaving no gains, But the Afrin fighters are back in control of Baysra mountains. Things like war is where arm chair generals should stay away from, many never understand how combined tactics works and it’s limits.

      • 888mladen .

        No CAS is done at supersonic speed that’s why MANPADs are effective. Speed of the MANPAD missile is ~2 mch.

        • Barba_Papa

          True, but you still don’t get a lot of warning time to arm and aim the missile. Only the sound of a jet engine. And it gets even worse in an urban environment as the sound reflections of a jet engine and decreased sight can mean it can come from anywhere. At least with an integrated air defense network you can get a heads up if a strike is inbound. And maybe more important an ETA.

        • Graeme Rymill

          The evidence that the Afrin Kurds have manpads is zero… just a rumour. Time will tell if any real evidence emerges…….

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          Many people forget that the original story was posted in Kurdish media by an alleged SDF inside source. Many SDF supporters thought the report on Ifrin receiving manpads that the posting was rather strange, seems this was all planned by the US and Turkey to facilitate the the reason along with the mixed signals of a Border force since it is only a ghost force and not an actual one. This is reminiscent during WW2 in creating fake dummy armies and creating a mediacampaign around it to push the fake propaganda.

  • Barba_Papa

    Are some of those Leo2’s sporting ad hoc additional armor? As a former model kit builder I like the color scheme on them, finally something else then boring drab NATO colors.

  • dutchnational

    Independent fact checker geo traced the pictures of yesterday liberated Shingal village to a village 15kms east in Azaz colony.

    I do not give 2 pennies for a few pics that do nor say nor prove anything.

    I can show also a few photos of destroyed Tu tanks from near al Bab, early 2017.

    Imo this is mostly propaganda and likely fake news.

    The next few days will show reality and I have few doubts that at a certain point TSK and TFSA will be able to really enter the region, given local superiority.

    SDF would be wise to start counterattacks into the Azaz colony, if they are able of course.

    Anyhow, given claims by Yeni Safak – taking the region in 3 hours, and Erdogan – taking the region in 3 days, SDF will already have a moral victory when they still hold the region at the end of today.

  • TheAntis0ciaL

    Afrin operation is the product of the ongoing Astana process.

    * The Turkish Armed Forces emphasised in a written statement that the operation is being carried out against Daesh (IS) and Pyd/Pkk terrorist organizations within the framework of respect to Syria’s territorial integrity.

    * The Turkish government officials also stated that there is an indirect communication between Ankara and Damascus, and that the operation is not against the Syrian State, people, the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political unity of the country. At this point, there is only one step left to take for Ankara, to start direct cooperation with Damascus.

    * Russian Defense Ministry stated that Turkey’s operation is against the efforts of the U.S. to fragment Syria’s territory by supporting the seperatist, terrorist Pyd/Pkk and providing modern weaponry to these pro-American militant groups and added that such policies threaten the political solution process in Syria.

    * The Iranian diplomatic sources also stated that Turkey’s Afrin operation is in favor of Tehran too because the U.S. will not give up until the territorial division of Turkey and Iran.

    As a whole, after Euphrates Shield in 2016, Turkey’s Afrin operation can be considered as a common act of the regional powers against the U.S.’ operation to fragment Syria, and another blow to the American ambitions to establish a terror corridor in Northern Syria. After Afrin, Manbij and east of Euphrates will probably be next.

    • Tudor Miron

      I expressed similar conclusions with only difference that I aknowledged that Erdogan is unpredictable at best (he himself doesn’t know how brave he may become tomorrow) and there may be a problem having him out of Syria but as I said – that’s easier than US.
      Stop insulting common sense when telling me that Kurds are fighting for their freedom there – farm rabbits think that they love each other but they were bred. In this case Kurds invite foreign invaders (US) on Syrian soil. (thats a remark towards Graeme and Dutchnational :)
      After Turkey teaches them some loyalty to homestate of Syria Erdogan will find out that Syrian Kurds (loyal to Syrian government) supported by Syrian state, Syrian allies (Russia, Iran) and international law is a totally different case than Kurdish separatists (land grabbers inviting foreign invaders in hope for their share of loot) supported (or left over?) by US. That’s how simple (or complicated?) it is.

      • Skagos

        Just a side note; Erdogan becoming even more brave and taking even more risky measures is very possible. Because even the opposition parties in Turkey are supportive of this Afrin operation. Actually, pro-Ataturk people and opposition said this operation should’ve been launched way before and they also mention the operation must be extend to east of Euphrates.

        Experts on middle-east and/or on Turkey’s foreign policy and geostrategic interests ALL claim that a war with US might be in sight and Turkey MUST get into war if it comes to that.

        • Tudor Miron

          Yes, I agree that Erdogan has serious self control issues and may loose touch with reality which is dangerous for him and everyone involved.

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      • TheAntis0ciaL

        What brought Erdoğan to this line of policies is not mainly a character change. It is geopolitical obligations and inner dynamics of Turkey. That is why, the republicans-Kemalists in Turkey and neighbouring governments still do not fully trust him.

        Even today, while Afrin operation is in motion, probably 80% of the planes that provide support to the U.S.-backed seperatist proxies in Syria take off from U.S.-NATO bases in Adana (Incirlik) and Diyarbakır. So, how much “anti-imperialist” can Erdoğan really become is a big question mark. His populist sermons, pseudo nationalism and anti-American rants in front of cameras still do not convince many people.