Afrin Day 18: Syria deploys new air defences near Afrin

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

15.38 U.S. to cut support for FSA not fighting ISIS - Pentagon spokesman

The United States will cut support to Free Syrian Army (FSA) units not fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, U.S. Defense Department Spokesman Eric Pahon told Hürriyet newspaper.

“Those fighting with us are members of the Syrian opposition who have passed a security check,” he said. “If these units decide to focus on something other than ISIS – and this could be Turkey, or it could be the regime – their support will be cut.”

13.40 U.S. continuing to smuggle arms to Syrian Kurds – Turkish Islamist newspaper

Turkish pro-government Islamist newspaper Yeni Şafak said Syrian rebels had captured a converted oil tanker filled with heavy weapons it says were being sent by the United States to Syrian Kurdish fighters in the enclave of Afrin, under siege by Turkish forces.

“Syrian opposition group Nour al-Din al-Zenki stopped a suspicious vehicle disguised as a fuel tanker, then began to search the vehicle. Once opening the container, it was found that the truck was “full to the brim” with heavy weapons,” it said.

12.14 Syria deploys new air defenses near Afrin

The Syrian army has deployed new air defenses and anti-aircraft missiles to frontlines in the Aleppo and Idlib areas, a commander in the military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday.

“They cover the air space of the Syrian north,” the commander told Reuters, describing the deployment as a “message to everyone”. The air defenses had been sent to frontlines with militants in rural areas of Aleppo and Idlib.


11.41 Russia may have set up no-fly zone in Syria – claims

Turkish airstrikes inside Syria have stopped ever since a Russian plane was shot down over Idlib on Saturday, various sources have said.

“There were no Turkish airstrikes in #Afrin according to contacts since the downing of the Russian jet in #Idlib ,” the Syrian Civil War Map account tweeted.

11.06 Turkish military announces 970 militants killed so far in Afrin

The Turkish military has announced that 23 Kurdish and Islamic State (ISIS) militants were killed on the 17th day of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria, meaning that the cumulative total is 970 killed.

09.27 Chlorine gas reportedly used on civilians in rebel-held areas of Syria

Warplanes launched heavy attacks on the two last major rebel-held areas in Syria, killing at least 29 people in the Ghouta suburb near the capital and choking people with gas in Idlib in the northwest, rescue workers and a war monitor said on Monday.

President Bashar al-Assad's government has vowed to retake all of Syria from rebels who have lost large swaths of the territory they have held in a war now entering its eighth year.


09.15 One Turkish soldier killed, five wounded in Idlib

One Turkish soldier was killed and five were wounded on Monday in a rocket and mortar attack by militants as the Turkish forces were setting up a military post in Syria's Idlib province, Turkey's armed forces said on Tuesday.

The statement said the Turkish forces responded with retaliatory fire, without specifying who the militants behind the attack were. One civilian member of the Turkish contingent was also wounded, it said. 



(All times Turkish)

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