On January 21, the Turkish Army and its proxies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the villages of Adah Manli, Balal Kuy and Kurin north of the city of Afrin in the Syrian province of Aleppo, according to Turkish sources. Four key hills in the districts of Sheikh al-Hadid and Rajo west of Afrin were also captured by the Turkish-backed FSA.
From its side, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) claimed that its fighters killed four Turkish soldiers while repelling several attacks of the Turkish Army and its proxies around Afrin. YPG fighters also killed ten FSA fighters and injured twenty others, according to the YPG media center.
Earlier, Kurdish sources claimed that the YPG destroyed three tanks of the Turkish Army with ATGMs and released a video showing a single Turkish Leopard 2A4 battle tank being hit.
However, Syrian opposition activists said that the tank was only slightly damaged and released a photo that proved this.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Anadolu Agency reported that 32 warplanes of the Turkish Air Force (TAF) destroyed 45 positions of the YPG in the area of Afrin on January 21. The Turkish Army also shelled several positions of the YPG with the T-122 Sakarya multiple launch rocket system (MRLS).
— Ali Özkök (@Ozkok_) 21 January 2018
In response to the Turkish bombardment, the YPG launched three rockets at the city of Reyhanli in southern Turkey, according to the Anadolu Agency. Turkish sources claimed that several civilians were injured in the rocket attack.
The slow and steady advance of the Turkish Army faced overcame the YPG resistance in the border villages. However, the situation will likely change when the Turkish Army deploys closer to the city of Afrin.