On February 8, the Turkish Air Force (TAF) resumed its operations against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Afrin area in northern Syria. The Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported that TAF warplanes had bombed several areas inside the city of Afrin and in the district of Sheikh al-Hadid west of it.
An itibariyle Afrin..
TSK ait savaş uçaklarımız Afrin’deki pkk/ypg hedeflerini vuruyor..
Ses’tende anlaşılacağı gibi etkili vuruyor.. pic.twitter.com/xG036XUKzL
— Son Kale Türkiye (@SonKaleTurkiye2) February 8, 2018
The TAF halted its bombing campaign against the YPG on February 5 for unknown reasons. Several Syrian pro-government sources reported back then that Russia and the Damascus government took the decision to close the Syrian aerospace in northern Syria for humanitarian and political reasons.
Later on February 5, Reuters reported quoting own source that Syrian military had deployed new air defense systems and anti-aircraft missiles to cover frontlines in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib.
Russia and the Damascus government may have reopened the Syrian aerospace for the TAF in response to the US-led coalition strikes on the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in Deir Ezzor province on February 7. The YPG is the main component of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The Turkish Army and its proxies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will likely take advantage of the TAF air cover and expand their ground operations inside Afrin in the upcoming days.