Afrin Day 15: Seven soldiers killed on the deadliest day since Syria operation started

All updates about the sixteenth day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.

20:30 Seven soldiers killed on the deadliest day since Syria operation started

Turkish army said 7 of its soldiers were killed on Saturday, 5 of them when their tank came under attack near Syria's Afrin.

The total death toll for Turkish troops since the operation started on Jan. 20 now stands at 13, it said.

18:20 Three more soldiers killed in Turkey’s Afrin offensive

Three more Turkish soldiers were killed on Saturday in Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia inside Syria, the army said, bringing the number killed so far in the incursion to 10.

The army said that one of the soldiers was killed in a clash and another on the border area, while a third was killed when a Turkish army tank had been hit in a separate attack, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu quoted the statement as saying.

12.34 Turkish Armed Forces announce 897 killed on 15th day of Afrin operation

The Turkish Armed Forces have announced that they have killed 897 People's Protection Units (YPG) and other militants in Afrin since the operation began on Jan. 20 – an average of 59.8 a day.


12.14 Some FSA still looking to U.S. for support – NYT

A Free Syrian Army officer told the New York Times the forces still had hope that the United States would help them remove President Bashar Assad from power in Syria, despite presently fighting U.S.-backed Kurdish militants.

“America has the ability to do anything,” said Lt. Col. Muhammed Hammadin of the Levant Front, an FSA subgroup. “We look forward to them making the Assad regime leave.”

10.17 Tax office bomber was trained by YPG - Ankara governor

An explosion that did severe damage to the central tax audit office building in Ankara was caused by a bomb planted by a man trained by the Syrian Kurdish group the People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey is currently fighting in Afrin, the Ankara governor's office has announced.

Three security personnel were wounded in the blast, and main suspect Ersan Ertoğan was "captured dead", the governor's office said.


10.00 The situation on the ground after two weeks of operations

Sourced from the Syria live map.

09.43 ISIS should not be top priority in YPG stance - Turkish FM

The defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) should not be the defining factor in other countries' stances towards the YPG, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was reported by state news agency Anadolu as saying.

"Vis-a-vis the Kurdish situation in Syria, the key defining factor will not be the defeat of Daesh on the ground through military means. A new social and political contract should be reached via a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process, and it should determine the role of Syrian Kurds in Syria’s future. Our efforts aim at facilitating this process, be it in Astana, Geneva, or Sochi," he said.

09.15 Kurds up in arms over atrocity video

A video appearing to show a female YPG fighter's body being mutilated by Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army rebels has caused anger amongst the Kurdish population of northern Syria after being spread on social media.

The footage showed a bloodied body on the floor. Parts of her torso appeared to have been cut open.



(All times Turkish)

All updates about the fourteenth day of Turkey’s military operation on Syria’s Afrin are here.