On March 16, the Turkish Army and its proxies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the villages of Khazban Fawqani, Khazban Tahtani, Jalqam, Shaykh Bilal, Jarkhatli, Qassem, Kuliye Fawqani, Kuliey Tahtani, Dar Kir, Ayn Hajar and the town Juwayq northwest of the city of Afrin, according to sources linked to the FSA. The Turkish Army also captured hills “800” and “1500”.
The Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported that the Turkish Air Force (TAF) had continued conducting airstrikes on the city of Afrin. During the last 24 hours, 8 civilians were killed and 30 others were injured in the TAF bombardment according to the ANHA.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced that its fighters had destroyed two vehicles belonging to the Turkish Army in the Shara district north of the city of Afrin. The Kurdish force also claimed that 31 Turkish Army soldiers and FSA fighters had been killed by its fighters on March 15.
As the YPG continues to retreat, more than 30,000 civilians have fled to the government-held areas in Aleppo governorate over the last few days, according to Syrian pro-government sources. This number will likely grow in the upcoming days due to an intense bombardment by the TAF.
The current main target of the Turkish Army and its proxies is likely the center of the Ma’betla district, northwest of Afrin city. Turkish forces are currently stationed only 15km west of the district’s center.