Kurdish forces say they destroyed three Turkish tanks in Afrin

by Wladimir van Wilgenburg    


Kurdish fighters on Thursday said they have destroyed three tanks near Afrin. “The hopeless attempts by the Turkish invasion army and Jabhat al-Nusra continue in a bid to occupy the villages of the Afrin canton and our forces continue inflicting painful strikes on them and driving them back,” the media centre of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said. The information couldn’t be verified by other sources.

“In the hours before the evening today of 25 January 2018, the Turkish invasion soldiers tried to advance on the Rajo district front that neighbours the two villages of Amara up to the village of Kumarshi, through use of bombing and advancing with tanks and armoured vehicles, so our forces resisted them and drove them back,” the statement said.

“The battles that began during this attempt inflicted losses in equipment and lives on the attackers, as two Turkish tanks were destroyed and those inside them were killed. The flames are still rising from them,” the statement added.

Moreover, in a later update, the SDF said they have destroyed a third tank in the Abidan village.

“The Turkish invasion army tried to advance from the axis of the district of Bilbile in the village of Abidan with the cover of artillery bombing and tanks. But our forces resisted the attack and destroyed a Turkish tank leading to the killing of those inside it. While the clashes continue until the moment of the preparation of this report,” the SDF said.

The Turkish military and the Syrian National Army on January 20 launched "Operation Olive Branch" against the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) at least 33 civilians were killed in Turkish airstrikes and attacks, including women and children, and 2 civilians by the SDF in shelling the Kiljibrin town controlled by the rebel and Islamic factions in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

The SDF has denied killing any civilians. “Public opinion should be aware of the fact that these dirty acts by the Turkish State, and that our forces have not targeted civilians and will not target them whatever happens,” Redur Xelil, a SDF official said in a public statement.

The Turkish attacks on Afrin have led to tensions between the United States that support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeastern Syria, and Turkey that has also threatened to attack the town of Manbij, where US troops are based.