Mohammed al-Jawhani, one of the military commanders of Thwar al-Jazeera al-Swria – one of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups backed by Turkey – reportedly confirmed that the preparations for the Operation Euphrates Sword against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo is about to be completed.
According to al-Jawhani, the operation will be a joint operation between FSA and the Turkish Army. He also said that the operations room will officially announce the operation when it starts. Al-Jawhani claimed that the operation will include 7000 militants from FSA factions, along with fighters from the Ahl Al-Diar Operations Room. The operation is expected to include Tal Refa’at, Menj, Ayn Dakna, Afrin and other surrounding areas.
Al-Jawhani said that FSA troops will withdraw from these areas after capturing them, where they will be handed over to local civil councils for their management.
It’s still unknown wether the Turkish Army will directly participate in the operation, or it will provide artillery support and air support to FSA troops only. It’s also believed that Ahrar al-Sham will be an essential part of the offensive. However, it’s unlikely that FSA will be able to capture Afrin City it self because of its location and importance for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).