Turkey's army and rebel ally, Free Syrian Army (FSA), battled the Kurdish militia in Syria's Afrin province, stepping up a three-day-old campaign against YPG fighters that has opened a new front in Syria's civil war.
Turkey began its push to the northwestern enclave of Syria when it launched artillery and air strikes against their positions in Afrin in what it called "Operation Olive Branch".
Intense Turkish artillery fire and air strikes continued to hit some villages, killing nearly 20 civilians already and injuring more while fierce battles raged to the north and west of Afrin against Turkish forces and their rebel allies.
Roj Moussa, a local journalist in Afrin, told The Region that the Turkish-backed rebels failed to enter into YPG strongholds. “The militants couldn't cross to the villages of Shinkal and Kurdo. The clashes continued, and the YPG forces confronted them and bombed a tank in the Kordo village and two tanks in the Dikmash village,” he added.
However, when airstrikes and artillery attacks were not enough, Turkey tried a "creative way" to boost the morale of its soldiers. An Ottoman military band, often known as mahtar, gave a concert to the Turkish soldiers at the Turkey-Syria border for so-called "Operation Olive Branch". Mahtar was the type of military ensemble within the Ottoman army which played martial tunes during military campaigns.