On March 5, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the villages of Ballursanak and Alciya in the Syrian area of Afrin from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), according to the Turkish meda. The advance follows the March 4 succcess of the TAF and the FSA when they captured the areas of the center of the Sheikh al-Hadid district and the villages of Mistekan and Araendi north of it.
The YPG’s defense is slowly collapsing in the Afrin area as the group has nothing to counter Turkish attack helicopters and warplanes as well as lacks military equipment and artillery guns.
On March 5, the TAF’s general staff said that at least 2,777 “terrorists” had been neutralized since the start of the operation in Afrin. On the same day, Turkish President Erdogan vowed that the TAF is ready to clear the city of Manbij – located in another part of northern Syria – from the YPG. The statement hints that the Turkish leadership is not going to limit its anti-YPG operations by Afrin.