Afrin in panic as Turkish Army on the brink of reaching Afrin city

by The Region   Reuters  


The Turkish Armed Forces and affiliated FSA groups are within a two kilometres range from Afrin city, according to Kurdish officials. Kurdish sources on the ground speak of immense panic within the city, amid a complete siege and shutdown of the local economy. Many civilians await in angst as the Turkish Armed Forces approach the city. 

Earlier today the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that reliable sources could confirm that "thousands of civilians are now sleeping on the open in Afrin City and the surrounding villages and farms nearby," and Asya Abdullah -- a former co-chair of the Kurdish PYD party -- called upon civilians to resist an imminent invasion of the Turkish Armed Forces. 

"Civilians in Afrin are under the threat of a massacre. There is a possibility of massacres. Therefore, everyone should rise up for action, wherever they are" she is reported to have said by ANF News.

Reporting from on the ground, journalist Gamze Kafar told The Region that the Autonomous Administration in Afrin has called for civilians to congregate in Ashrafiya neighbourhood, which is close to the frontlines of the most recent conflicts between the Kurdish YPG and its affiliated FSA forces (Jaysh Al-Thuwar), and the Turkish State and its affiliated jihadist FSA forces.

"The Turkish Armed forces and FSA are two kilometres away from the city centre. The Turkish Air Force is engaging in a targeted air bombardment campaign on levels unprecedented up until date. The autonomous administration has called upon the civilians of Afrin to go out and defend Afrin on the streets".

Ilham Ehmed -- co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council told the region that urgent solidarity was necessary at this juncture.  

"We are at a very critical moment. There is a short distance between us and the Turkish State. The shellings are brutal." she told The Region.  

 "The public agrees, they declare this city to be our home, and they will not run away. They will struggle and fight. We, as the PYD, demand a complete halt to the air-bombardments" she said.  

And we call on the world to rise up. Take over the streets, block the roads. Slogans are not enough, go to the embassies. Pressure all the nation-states who are complicit in this occupation. Kurdish people become one fist. People of the world: become one fist. This is our last chance against colonialism. Support us"