Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army have moved into Afrin city, the heart of the Kurdish canton of Afrin in northwest Syria.
In the culmination of an eight-week offensive, the Turkish-FSA occupied key areas of the city, days after surrounding it and cutting off water. The capitulation of the Kurdish militia YPG appeared to come quickly. The Turkish-FSA attempt to capture the city only began on Friday, accompanied by shelling.Kurdish officials and the YPG said that a hospital was hit, with 15 people killed — a claim disputed by the Turkish military, but which appears to be verified through geolocation analysis. Apart from this, there is no news of significant civilian casualties.
The UN said on Friday that almost 50,000 people have been displaced from the canton.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke about the advance on Sunday morning, at a ceremony marking the 103rd anniversary of the battle of Gallipoli: “The terror corridor has been broken in four fronts.”With the loss of Afrin and other towns, as well as all of northwest Syria along the Turkish border, the Kurdish center of authority in Syria is in the cantons of Kobane and Cezire in north and northeast Syria.