Turkey backed FSA militants

12/07/2017 - 06:39 0
Turkish army and affiliated FSA groups encroaching on Afrin

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) has positioned Howitzers and Katyusha missiles in 12 villages as part of their preparations to attack Afrin, [western Rojava-northwestern Syria] together with the jihadist/Salafist FSA groups they control. The city is constantly being bombed from these locations reports suggest.

With their plans for Idlib, Turkey doesn’t want to retreat from Syria. Although their plans to attack Afrin from 3 sides along with the paramilitary Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups they founded have been halted for now, intense TAF and FSA activity and preparations continue in around Azaz's surroundings, El Rai (Çobanbey), Marê and Idlib. As part of these efforts, Turkey has been firing artillery on villages under YPG and Jaysh Al-Thuwar control - mainly Shahba’s Til Rifat and Minix towns - and searching for international legal grounds to enact Turkey’s plans.

Headquarters in 12 villages

A YPG source said the Turkish Armed Forces and FSA groups had turned 5 villages in the region into headquarters and positioned heavy weapons there, and added that the number of these villages has increased to 12 since the Ramadan holiday. The military official said weapons brought from Turkey are positioned there and that the dispatching still continues. These points will be used as homebases in a possible attack on Afrin.

Simultaneous attacks

The source also pointed to the tank activity in the region and said: “In the morning hours, the TAF and the FSA are playing dead. There is zero activity. But with dusk, dispatches towards these 12 villages turned into headquarters begins.” The military official added that the TAF carries out intense bombings on villages to the east of Afrin and in the Shahba region simultaneously in evening hours from these villages.

'Villages bombed'

The official stressed that the Shera and Shêrawa districts to the east of Afrin are priority targets for the TAF and said the Êzidî [Yazidi] villages Kestellê [Qestel Cindo] and Baflunê and Kitmê, Meranazê, Şêwerka, Malkîyê and Cilbirê villages in these districts have been under intense bombardment for a long time. The Howitzers and Katyusha missiles are fired at random and at times land among the village’s streets, said the source.

'300 meters between Turkish and YPG forces'

Another military official stated that the TAF and some FSA groups backed by Turkey have been inching towards the Shahba region and added that the TAF has taken up positions as close as 300 meters to YPG-controlled Samuqa, Tilmadiq, Cîcan, İmhuş, Hirbil and Şêx Îsa villages. The military official also said there was intense military dispatches as well, adding: “At night these villages and their rural areas are bombed with Howitzers and mortars.

Source: ANF