On February 22, the Turkish Army’s artillery guns and rocket launchers shelled an aid convoy that was about to enter the Afrin area through the Ziyarah crossing in the northern Aleppo countryside, according to the Hawar News Agency (ANHA).
The ANHA added that thousands of civilians from the Kurdish-held areas in eastern Syria had been onboard the convoy, which was transferring humanitarian aid to people in Afrin.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) revealed in an official statement that “many” civilians had been killed and injured in the Turkish Army shelling on the convoy. However, the Kurdish force didn’t provide detailed information about the number of victims.
In response to the Turkish Army shelling, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery shelled several rocket launchers of the Turkish Army, according to the Hezbollah media wing. This was the first military step of the SAA in support of the YPG since pro-government forces were deployed in Afrin area on February 20.
The shelling of the Ziyarah crossing, the key supply hub for the entire Afrin area, will likely mark the start of a more violent phase of the Turkish Army’s operation against the YPG in Afrin.