On February 1, the Turkish Army and its proxies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the strategic town of Bulbul, the center of Bulbul district north of the city of Afrin, according to Syrian oppositions sources. Over 24 fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) were killed and at least one other was captured by Turkish forces during the clashes inside the town.
The Turkish-backed FSA groups also announced that their fighters had captured the villages of Ali Kar, Za’ra and al-Ham in the Bulbul district.
From its side, the YPG announced that its fighters had killed 20 fighters of the Turkish forces during clashes in the village of Qurna. Moreover, YPG fighters reportedly destroyed a vehicle of the Turkish Army in the village of Za’ra.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Anadolu Agency announced that warplanes of the Turkish Air Force (TAF) destroyed 18 positions of the YPG in the Afrin area in overnight airstrikes. Kurdish sources claim that over 104 civilians have been killed, and 156 other have been injured in the TAF bombardment so far.
The capture of Bulbul by the Turkish Army was a huge blow to the YPG that had failed to counter the Turkish attack. Experts believe that the YPG will lose more towns soon if it does not agree to solve the crisis in the Afrin area politically with the support of the Iranian-Syrian-Russian alliance.