Once a bustling town, fighting has damaged villages and infrastructure while the retreating militants have planted mines in the neighbourhoods.
If Turkey wants to succeed in Afrin it will need to achieve its objectives before Russia is encouraged to make a deal with the YPG that can undermine, or effectively end, the operation.
Azad Osman and Sefira were arrested for protesting against former Syrian president Hafez al Assad in 1987. Since then they've beat the odds and are now a living testimony of everything that has gone wrong with Syria.
Salih Muslum, the former co-leader of the Syrian branch of the PKK, was spotted in Berlin over the weekend, days after being briefly detained and then released in the Czech Republic.
Afrin operation is against terrorist organisations who are targeting Syria’s unity and Turkey’s national security and the area is not included among the places which are referred in the UN Security Council decision, Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Is it in the interest of Syrian armed opposition groups, and specifically the Free Syrian Army, to ally with Turkey in Operation Olive Branch?
Russia's increased bombardment on opposition-held areas, attacks from areas controlled by Iran-backed militias against Turkish-backed forces, clashes between the US coalition and pro-regime forces, are all shaping the outcome of Syria’s endgame.
Turkey has launched a border security mission to clear Syria's Afrin of YPG, an affiliate of the PKK. Both Turkey and the US consider the PKK to be a terror group, yet the US insists the YPG is an ally against Daesh.
Turkey’s follow-up operation against YPG positions in Manbij is expected soon after Syria's Afrin. But this time the contours of the fight may take on a different dimension.
On what grounds could Turkey intervene in Syria’s Afrin?
The US alliance with the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organization in Syria will haunt it long after Daesh is ousted from Raqqa.
The US military might be staying in Syria even after the defeat of Daesh, confirming Turkey’s concerns regarding US and YPG manoeuvring to create an autonomous Kurdish region in northern Syria.
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