Operation Olive Branch
Operation Olive Branch (Turkish: Zeytin Dalı Harekâtı) is an ongoing cross-border military operation conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) in the majority-Kurdish Afrin District of northwest Syria. The air war and use of major artillery ended as the Arab and Turkmen militias of the TFSA entered the city of Afrin on 18 March 2018, and the insurgency phase began.
By March 2018, pro-Shia news reported that the United Nations had counted 167,000 refugees in nearby camps; the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights later estimated that a total of 300,000 Kurdish people had been displaced. In the aftermath of the conflict, Turkish forces implemented a resettlement policy by moving refugees from Eastern Ghouta into the newly-empty homes. Many houses, farms, and other private property belonging to those that fled the conflict have been seized or looted by the TFSA.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that the operation in Afrin would be followed by a push to the town of Manbij, which the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in 2016. A US general said they would "respond aggressively" if attacked. The YPG announced that it would protect the people of Afrin and respond to the Turkish Army. Between 395 and 510 civilians have been reported killed since the operation started. Other reported war crimes include the mutilation of a female corpse by TFSA fighters, the killing of civilians due to indiscriminate shelling by Turkish forces, the use of chemical gas by the Turkish Army, and the indiscriminate shooting of refugees fleeing from the conflict area into Turkey by the Gendarmerie General Command.
Erdoğan has threatened that there will be a "heavy price" for Turkish citizens who protested against the military offensive, and the Turkish government has issued restrictions on press coverage, with Reporters Without Borders noting that the Turkish press was expected to be in "service of the government and its war goals". Hundreds of individuals have been detained for demonstrating against the operation. Over 800 social media users and nearly 100 politicians and journalists have been detained for criticizing the operation. Turkish authorities have also arrested numerous leaders and high-ranking members of pro-Kurdish and left-wing political parties. According to the United Nations, as of March 2018, approximately 167,000 people were displaced due to the Turkish intervention.
After Syrian government forces pulled out of Afrin in 2012, Kurdish YPG forces took control of the territory. Afrin managed to maintain trust with both the Syrian government and its neighboring rebel groups. In February 2016, during the latter part of the Battle of Aleppo, Syrian government forces cut off the rebel supply route to Aleppo. Subsequently, the SDF moved eastward out of Afrin, and successfully attacked the rebels, capturing the Menagh Military Airbase and the town of Tell Rifaat. In response, Turkish forces shelled SDF positions across the border to protect the rebel-held city of Azaz. In 2017, Russian military troops stationed themselves in Afrin as part of an agreement to protect the YPG from further Turkish attacks.
Turkey had been fighting PKK and other groups in southeastern and eastern Turkey for several decades. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict is estimated to have cost 40,000 lives. The Turkish government has publicly stated that it does not recognize a difference between the Syrian YPG forces and PKK, and says both are terrorist organizations. While the PKK has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States, the United States' position on the YPG is that it is not a terrorist organization, a stance that has generated much conflict between the two NATO allies. Despite this, the CIA named the PYD as the "Syrian wing" of the PKK in its World Factbook on 23 January 2018. On 14 February, Director of National Intelligence described YPG as the Syrian wing of PKK in its new report.
During the early stages of the operation, United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis noted that Turkey was the only NATO ally with an "active insurgency" within its borders. Mattis acknowledged that Turkey has "legitimate security concerns" regarding PKK, and said Turkey had consulted the United States prior to launching the offensive. The offensive came amid growing tension between the Turkish and American governments over the latter's support of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are made up primarily of Kurdish fighters of the YPG, which Turkey considers to be a branch of the PKK. In particular, Turkey objected to announced plans by the US to train and equip a 30,000 strong SDF border force, which Turkey stated posed a direct threat to their security. "A country we call an ally is insisting on forming a terror army on our borders," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech in Ankara. "What can that terror army target but Turkey? Our mission is to strangle it before it's even born."
According to media reports with reference to sources in the Syrian Kurdish leadership, shortly before the Turkish incursion, as an alternative option, Russia proposed that the Kurdish authorities in Afrin recognise the Syrian government's control in the region; the proposal was rejected at the time.
The Afrin offensive has jeopardized the Astana Peace Process by placing the major parties—Russia, Iran, and Turkey—on opposing sides of the conflict. According to an Iranian official, Tehran has warned Ankara that "many parties might want to see Turkey stuck in a quagmire" and has advised that Turkey "try to contain this adventure". Tehran's position is that the Kurdish fighters are not acting independently, but rather are receiving support from multiple sides in the conflict.
In the days prior to the offensive, Turkey and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army exchanged artillery fire with YPG militants along the Turkish-Syrian border near Afrin. The YPG shelled the TFSA-held town of Azaz. The Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported that Russian military observers in the Afrin area began withdrawing on 19 January 2018 in anticipation of a Turkish offensive on YPG positions in Afrin.
On 12 February, Turkey's Interior Ministry added former PYD co-leader Salih Muslim Muhammad to its "wanted terrorists" list along with several new names and offered money for information on his whereabouts. On 25 February, Salih Muslim was detained in Prague at Turkey's request. Turkish officials said that Muslim will appear before a court in Prague. Turkish Deputy PM Bekir Bozdağ said that Turkey is requesting Muslim's extradition. However Czech court released Muslim. Turkish Deputy PM said this was "a move in support of terror".
Composition of forces
Turkey and allied Free Syrian Army
The largest group is between 10,000 and 25,000 Syrian Arab and Turkmen rebel fighters operating under the banner of the Syrian Interim Government and trained and supported by Turkey. The second largest group is 6,400 soldiers from the Turkish Armed Forces along with armored and air force support. Sunni Islamist rebels were also seen fighting alongside the Turkish-backed forces, including Ahrar al-Sham and Sham Legion.
In addition, The Independent reported that Turkey of having a contingent of ex-ISIL fighters within the ranks of its allies military and was likely spearheading troops in Afrin. Several Jihadist fighters among the Turkish-backed forces released a video threatening to cut off the heads of Kurds whom they consider "infidels". A video clip surfaced on the Internet which showed several TFSA combatants singing praise of previous battles that they've fought including Tora Bora (former headquarters of Osama Bin Laden), Grozny, and Dagestan and then concluding: "And now Afrin is calling to us". The anti-Turkish (though pro-FSA) Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also stated that members of the Grey Wolves, a Turkish nationialist extremist movement, fought alongside the pro-Turkish forces in Afrin.
Democratic Federation of Northern Syria
The DFNS forces include the Syrian Democratic Forces (with Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party’s, armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG)), Afrin Region regional defense and police forces. There have been reports that some of the YPG fighters in Afrin were child soldiers. The DFNS was also supported by foreign fighters, including Iraqi fighters of the Sinjar Alliance, troops of the International Freedom Battalion, and PKK fighters. In addition, Syrian pro-government forces entered the conflict on the side of the DFNS in February 2018. It is not clear how many government loyalists eventually fought in the operation; a YPG commander said that 4,000 militiamen were planned to enter Afrin, though only about 500 were confirmed to have fought alongside the SDF. According to Kurdish officials over 20,000 fighters rallied to defend Afrin.
Haaretz reported that US-backed Kurdish forces received aid from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after Kurds requested that Damascus send reinforcements to protect Afrin's border. In response to the request, the Syrian government allowed Kurdish fighters, civilians and politicians to enter Afrin, including fighters from Kobani and Jazira. For much of the conflict the Syrian government and Kurdish forces have avoided one another; however, in the months leading up to the conflict Damascus began threatening to retake parts of North and Eastern Syria that had been captured by the US-backed SDF and even launched an attack against Deir al-Zor, which was met by coalition airstrikes.
In late January, there were multiple reports that Western foreign fighters, including Americans, British, and Germans among others, had moved into Afrin to aid its defense against Turkish-led forces. On 12 February 2 foreign fighters, French citizen Olivier François Jean Le Clainche and Spanish citizen Samuel Prada Leon were killed in Afrin. On 24 February, Icelandic activist Haukur Hilmarsson, who was fighting on the behalf of YPG, was killed in a Turkish airstrike in Afrin. On 9 March 3 Turkish citizen foreign fighters belonging to MLKP were reportedly killed in Afrin. On 15 March, a Briton named Anna Campbell was reportedly killed in Afrin.
Following the end of open combat and the start of the insurgency, three new groups emerged which said to fight against the pro-Turkish forces in Afrin: The "Afrin Falcons", the "Afrin Liberation Forces", and the "Wrath of Olives" operations room; they disavowed any connection to the YPG. The groups openly declared to "liquidate all the traitors dealing with the Turkish occupation". A Middle East security analyst said that these were front organizations for the YPG, as the latter was "under pressure from the United States to disassociate itself from the most controversial assassinations in Afrin."
Initial TFSA-Turkish advances
The Turkish government announced the start of the offensive on 19 January 2018, with Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli stating, "The operation has actually de facto started with cross-border shelling." He added no troops had crossed into Afrin. Turkey intensified its shelling later, while People's Protection Units (YPG) stated that 70 shells had been fired overnight. After days of shelling, Turkish fighter jets on 20 January 2018 carried out air strikes on the border district targeting positions held by the PYD and YPG groups.
Turkish media reported that 20 buses carrying Turkish-backed Syrian opposition rebels had crossed into Syria through the Öncüpınar border crossing. An AFP photographer stated that 30 buses carrying Syrian fighters had also crossed through the Cilvegözü border crossing.
On 20 January, the pro-PYD Hawar News Agency reported that fighters of the Army of Revolutionaries in the Shahba Canton inflicted damage to the ranks of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army as they killed 4 SNA fighters, and wounded 5 others, in a response to the recent mortar and artillery bombardments of civilian areas. YPG forces fired rockets on Turkish border towns Kilis and Reyhanli, where at least one civilian was reported killed among number of wounded. Turkey announced that its airstrikes had hit 150 targets in Afrin.
The Turkish General Staff made the announcement in a statement published on its website, saying the objective of the mission is to "establish security and stability on our borders and region, to eliminate terrorists of PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and ISIL." On 21 January 2018, Turkish state media reported that Turkish ground forces had begun to move into Afrin. and had advanced up to 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) into the territory. SOHR reported that Turkish troops had clashed with Kurdish militias on the northern and western borders of Afrin and entered the towns of Shankil and Adah Manli to the west.
By 22 January 2018, Turkish forces announced the capture of seven villages, although the YPG recaptured two. The same day, the first Turkish soldier was reported killed in the fighting. By 23 January, territorial gains of the pro-Turkish forces were still "limited". Both sides said to have inflicted numerous casualties on each other, including a high-ranking TFSA commander, amid the back-and-forth fighting for several strategic points at the border. Meanwhile, about 5,000 civilians had fled the Turkish advance in the contested areas, relocating into the central areas of Afrin Region.
On 27 January, in the first case of a Kurdish suicide attack against Turkish forces, female Kurdish YPJ fighter Zuluh Hemo (a.k.a. "Avesta Habur") reportedly threw a grenade down the turret of a Turkish tank, destroying the tank and killing two Turkish soldiers and herself. The reported attack took place during fighting in the village of al-Hammam. The Turkish military denied that any Turkish soldiers had been killed or injured in the incident, and also said that Hemo blew herself up with a grenade in her mouth.
On 28 January, pro-Turkish forces achieved their first major victory by capturing the strategic Barsaya mountain after several previous attacks on the mountain since 22 January failed due to Kurdish resistance. According to Kurdish reports, Kurdish fighters once again pushed back the Turkish-led forces from the mountain the following day, although Turkey disputed this, with Turkish commander Lt. Gen. İsmail Metin Temel, who was leading the operation, reportedly visiting Barsaya.
On 6 February, a convoy from the eastern parts of SDF-controlled Northern Syria carrying YPG as well as Yazidi YBŞ and YJÊ fighters passed through government-held territory and arrived in the city of Afrin after an agreement for the transfer was approved by Damascus. Their number was unclear, but estimates ranged from 500 to 5,000. There had been reports that the agreement, as well as a recent halt in Turkish airstrikes on the Afrin region, was approved after the Turkish troop deployment in the Aleppo province and the downing of a Russian Su-25 by rebels in the Idlib province, located close to Turkish troops on 3 February. A commander among the pro-Syrian government forces also said that the army had deployed air defenses and anti-aircraft missiles to the front lines that are near Turkish positions and cover the airspace of the Syrian north including Afrin. According to Turkish sources, Russia temporarily closed Syrian airspace to Turkey to establish an electronic defence mechanism against the shoulder-launched missiles since the night of 4 February. According to the report, Turkish armed drones can still operate in Afrin.
On 9 February, the Syrian airspace was reopened for Turkish jets. On 10 February, a Turkish T129 ATAK attack helicopter crashed with both crew members being killed. According to Turkish President Erdoğan, the SDF, and SOHR, the helicopter was shot down. The Turkish Prime Minister also confirmed that a helicopter had been downed, while the Turkish military did not give a cause for the crash but stated an investigation was being conducted. The SDF on 17 February claimed a cross-border attack on Turkish forces and its allies in Kırıkhan. Turkish media had reported two Turkish soldiers and five Syrian rebels being wounded when a police station was hit by mortar fire in Kırıkhan.
Entry of pro-Syrian government forces
On 19 February, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that the Syrian government had reached a deal with the YPG in Afrin. Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu responded that they welcomed Syrian forces if they wanted to fight the YPG, stating, "If so, there is no problem. However, if they are entering [Afrin] to protect YPG/PKK, nobody can stop the Turkish army". Nuri Mahmoud, a YPG spokesman, told Al-Jazeera that they had called upon pro-Syrian government forces "to preserve a united Syria" but added they hadn't arrived yet. However, a while later, Nuri denied they had reached an agreement with the Syrian government.
On 20 February, Turkish President Erdoğan stated that Turkey had thwarted the possible deployment of pro-Syrian government forces into the Afrin area after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the situation in Afrin could be resolved through direct dialogue between Damascus and Ankara. On the same day, TFSA linked the Bulbul area with Azaz, after capturing the Deir al-Sawan village.
Later on 20 February, pro-Syrian government militias calling themselves the "Popular Forces" entered YPG-held Afrin. The Baqir Brigade, part of the Local Defence Forces (LDF) militia network, announced that it would be leading those forces. A convoy of pro-Syrian government troops entered the region to support the YPG, but was hit by Turkish forces, who fired "warning shots". Anadolu Agency stated that pro-Syrian government troops withdrew 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from Afrin town because of the warning shots. SANA confirmed Turkish artillery involvement but didn't mention any retreat. President Erdoğan said that the militias were repelled by Turkish artillery, adding that the convoy consisted of "terrorists" who acted independently. He also stated, "Unfortunately, these kind of terror organizations take wrong steps with the decisions they take. It is not possible for us to allow this. They will pay a heavy price."
Ex-PYD co-chair Salih Muslim Muhammad meanwhile denied any political agreement with the Syrian government, stating the agreement about Afrin was purely military. The Syrian state media on 21 February announced the arrival of more pro-Syrian government forces. A commander of an alliance fighting for the Syrian government stated that pro-government militias in Afrin had retaliated after being attacked by Turkish-backed rebels during the preceding night.
By 26 February, the YPG had been pushed back from most of the border with Turkey. During the day, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag announced the deployment of police special forces in Afrin for a new battle. The Turkish government stated on 28 February that the United Nation's recent Syrian ceasefire resolution didn't cover Afrin, and that Turkey wasn't a part of the Syrian conflict. On the next day, the SOHR reported that Turkish forces and its allies had taken complete control for the border, which was also confirmed by Turkish media. Meanwhile, Turkish forces were fighting to capture the towns of Jandairis and Rajo.
Encirclement of Afrin city
The TAF stated on 1 March that eight Turkish soldiers were killed, while 13 were wounded in clashes. SOHR reported that Turkish airstrikes in the village of Jamaa killed 17 pro-government fighters overnight. Doğan News Agency stated that a Turkish helicopter evacuating wounded had to return when it was hit. 36 militiamen belonging to the NDF were killed in Turkish airstrikes two days later on a camp in Kafr Jina, per SOHR.
On 3 March, the Turkish-led forces said they had captured Rajo, one of the major Kurdish strongholds in western Afrin. It was reported that Turkish-led forces quickly breached its defenses and captured it in an hour. However, SOHR reported that the town was still contested, although the TFSA had captured 70 percent of it. The TFSA/TSK also stated the capturing of six villages, including two on the Jinderes district axis, as well as the Bafilyun mountain west of Azaz, making quick gains in recent days. The next day, Rajo was still under heavy Turkish bombardment as the TFSA was attempting to take full control of the town. The SDF confirmed pro-Turkish forces had entered the town and that clashes were continuing during the morning. Later in the day, the SOHR reported large parts of Rajo were captured, while the TFSA had also entered Shaykh al-Hadid. On 5 March, Rajo was confirmed by the SOHR to had been captured by the TFSA. After the capture of Rajo the TFSA also captured the notorious "black prison" near Rajo, which was known to be used by the YPG to jail and torture Kurdish dissents as well as anti-Assad activists and rebels.
On 6 March, the SDF announced that it had shifted 1,700 personnel from their frontlines in the Middle Euphrates river valley in Deir ez-Zor to Afrin. Between 8 and 9 March, the Turkish Army, alongside the TFSA, captured Jandairis and the Afrin Dam, reaching the outskirts of Afrin on 10 March. On 12 March, Turkish Forces had severed the water supply to the city of Afrin, and also cut off the city's Internet access.
By 13 March, Turkish troops announced they had now surrounded the city later confirmed by the UK based human rights group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). On the next day, seven people were killed in Turkish shelling on Afrin. Between eight and ten pro-government fighters were killed in Turkish airstrikes to the south of Afrin.
By then, SDF troops had moved into Afrin from other areas, including retreating troops from the unsuccessful defence of Jinderes, and dozens of international volunteers, reinforcing the troop numbers there, and preparing defences. By Mid March, civilians started arriving in the city, organising themselves as human shields in anticipation of the attack while another 2000 civilians fled the city, in advance of the Turkish troops.
Capture of Afrin city
On 15 March, Turkish artillery bombardment against the city increased, with 12 people killed and 60 injured. Food shortages were reported in the city, with long queues at bakeries. Turkey allowed people to exit the city through the one remaining road, with about 10,000 people exiting the city. Turkey started dropping flyers on the city on 15 March, urging the Kurdish and allied fighters to give up, and asking civilians to stay away from "terrorist" positions. Turkish artillery fire continued on the next day, killing another 16 people. Meanwhile, the YPG claimed a Turkish airstrike hit the main hospital in the city - the only functioning hospital - resulting in 16 civilians dead. The Hospital had already been inundated with injured people from the region, fleeing Turkish advances. However, Turkish drone footage released the next day allegedly showed the hospital intact.
On 17 March, Turkish and TFSA forces started their ground attack on the city. They met light resistance and penetrated to the center of the city. Most of the population had left, and rather than engaging the Turkish forces, most of the SDF had retreated, leaving only a small resistance effort behind. On 18 March, TAF forces posted pictures from the center of the city, which appeared to be largely empty. Turkish troops initially shot at, and then removed with a bulldozer, a statue of Kawa, a legendary Kurdish figure, in the center of the town, and raised Turkish flags throughout the city. The city was captured with little losses by the TAF and little losses by the SDF in their withdrawal. SDF troops had withdrawn to government-held areas, or to SDF areas east of the Euphrates. SDF troops had been ordered to withdraw, though a few minor pockets refused orders and stayed to combat the Turkish forces. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said of the capture: "In the city of Afrin, which was captured by Turkish forces yesterday, scores of civilians have been killed and injured due to airstrikes, ground-based strikes, and explosive hazards, and thousands have been displaced."
After the capture of Afrin, which had been deserted by most of its residents, Turkish-backed fighters then began stealing vehicles and goods, looting the homes, businesses, and political and military sites. In response to these events, the Turkish military and allied TFSA units, including the Syrian Interim Government's Military Police, set up checkpoints in front of the city, and arrested several looters. Some battalions of the TFSA's 3rd Corps were disbanded due to their participation in the thefts. The Levant Front announced that they dismissed 52 of its members, due to assault on the properties of civilians.
Turkish stabilization efforts after the capture of Afrin city
Soon after Afrin city had been captured, Turkey began to consolidate its control over the entire district through a number of policies. The Turkish-backed forces pushed back the Syrian government loyalists: On 21 March, the Turkish Air Force launched airstrikes against pro-government forces located in towns of Kimar and Barad. By the evening, the TFSA had captured the two settlements, advancing within few kilometres from Nubl and Al-Zahraa. Furthermore, Turkish President Erdoğan announced that the operation would only achieve its goal by taking Tell Rifaat, and rebuked a Russian demand to return Afrin to Syrian government control, saying "When the time comes, we will give Afrin to the people of Afrin personally, but the timing of this is up to us, we will determine it, not Mr. Sergei Lavrov." These actions were in line with the Turkish policy to prevent the Syrian government from retaking the Turkish-occupied territories in Syria.
Furthermore, Turkey organized a number of local councils to serve as civilian government of Afrin District, with the one for Afrin city composed of Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen civilian representatives. Though the Turkish government closely works with these councils, they generally operate as autonomous entities and are supposed to help restoring civil society, as Turkey followed a "hands-off approach to governance and policing". The councils helped to demine Afrin city, as the SDF had left a disputed number of mines behind while leaving the city. One YPG commander said that his troops had not placed any explosives "within cities or residential areas", while TFSA officials estimated that the YPG had left "tens of thousands" of hidden mines behind. The pro-Turkish Afrin Civil Council later stated that mines had killed about 250 civilians in Afrin city by May 2018, though this was not independently verifiable. These efforts meant that Afrin city had been stabilized to some degree by May, with displaced civilians returning and municipal services resuming. With the support of the Turkish government and the stabilization committee, the local council in Afrin was able to fix the engines of Meydanki Dam, and was able to pump water to the desalination plant in the town of Sharran, to provide drinkable water for residents of Afrin and the city of Azaz.
Turkey has also implemented more contentious policies, however, as it began to resettle TFSA fighters and refugees from southern Syria into the empty homes that belonged to displaced Kurdish and Yazidi locals. Though some Kurdish militias of the TFSA and the Turkish-backed civilian councils opposed these resettlement policies, most FSA units fully supported them. Many were also critical of the deeply conservative and religious policies of the TFSA units. There were other locals, however, who approved of the new government, considering it less harsh and ideologically charged than the previous PYD government.
YPG guerrilla campaign
A PYD spokesman had already announced shortly after the capture of Afrin city that the SDF would continue to fight the pro-Turkish forces using guerilla tactics. On 4 May, the YPG also declared that they would target the family members of rebel fighters active in Afrin region, as well as refugees that were settled in Afrin. The "Wrath of Olives" operation room was established in early summer, 2018. The YPG has denied being affiliated with this group, which has been active all over Turkish-held Syria.
By May 2018, a insurgency had broken out in Afrin District, as YPG holdouts and allied militants, calling themselves the "Afrin Falcons", were carrying out bombings, ambushes and assassinations against the Turkish army, the TFSA, and civilian sympathizers. The insurgents were aided in their attempts to destabilize the Turkish-led rule over Afrin by the unrest that still dominated the area. Hostilities remained high between mostly Kurdish natives and largely Arab refugees who had settled in the region after the occupation, while several TFSA groups continued to cause security problems. Despite Turkish attempts to train and disciplined them, these militias sometimes violently clashed with each other and terrorized the local civilians. A TFSA vehicles was seen with portraits of Saddam Hussein, who had committed a genocide against Iraqi Kurds. Kurds in Afrin said this was an attempt to humiliate suspected PKK members.
By mid-2018, the insurgency was mostly focused on the rural areas and Afrin city's outskirts, where Turkish Air Force bombarded YPG holdouts in early May and early July. In early May, the YPG killed the former leader of the Free East Ghouta Police, Jamal al-Zaghloul, whose forces had been tasked with police duties in Afrin after the occupation. He was killed by a mine in al-Basouta, south of Afrin city. Following his death, the YPG stated that "anyone in cooperation with the invasion forces is our target". On August 26, the YPG published a video of the assassination of an al-Rahman Legion commander, Abu Muhammad Al-Shmali, in Babili.
The insurgents also carried out a smaller number of urban bombings in the Turkish occupation zone. On June 27, a twin bombing targeted Afrin's city center which killed nine people, injuring several others, with the Kurdish Afrin Falcons group claiming responsibility, stating that the group has no affiliation with any other Kurdish military or political groups and that its "struggle was independent". Other major bombings occurred in Jarablus on 7 July (seven wounded), al-Bab on 8 July (several killed), and again in Afrin's city center on 22 August (at least one killed). It is not always clear, however, who is responsible for the bombings, with ISIL remnants and Syrian government loyalists also being suspected of carrying out some attacks. By the end of August, 108 rebels and Turkish soldiers were reportedly killed in Kurdish guerrilla attacks. As of early September, attacks were taking place in the forests in the outskirts of Afrin city.
By January 2019, about 220 insurgent attacks had been documented since late March 2018 in the Afrin area, most of them carried out by official YPG forces, as well as the Wrath of Olives operations room and Afrin Liberation Forces. The latter had also acquired anti-tank guided missiles. One researcher noted that the rebels might be operating "with the acquiescence" of the Syrian government. On 18 February 2019, a Turkish soldier was killed during "ongoing operational activities" in the Afrin area. In response to the continued insurgency, Turkey and its allied militias launched a military operation against the Tell Rifaat Subdistrict which was jointly held by the SDF and Syrian government and considered a base for YPG guerrilla attacks. In course of the subsequent clashes on 4 May 2019, pro-Turkish troops initially captured a few villages, but were pushed back by SDF and Syrian government counter-attacks. The operation was then cancelled due to new Turkish-Russian negotiations about the fate of the Tell Rifaat Subdistrict.
In October 2019, in retaliation for the Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria, the YPG attacked a Turkish military outpost in Afrin, and two Turkish soldiers were killed in the mortar attack.
After the Turkish-led forces captured Afrin District in early 2018, they began to implement a resettlement policy by moving Arab refugees from southern Syria into the empty homes that belonged to displaced locals.
On 18 November 2018, the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed rebel factions launched an operation against a group named al-Sharqiya Martyrs of about 200 fighters who were reported to disobey and commit abuses. A rebel commander named Mahmoud ‘Azazi was killed on 19 November and a mass rebel surrender took place on the same day. The clashes left 25 fighters dead.
Various casualty estimates were made during the operation. The pro-Syrian opposition activist organization the SOHR documented 1,586 SDF and 616 TFSA fighters were killed, as well as 91 pro-Syrian government militiamen, 93 Turkish soldiers and 389 civilians. The SCWM site reported the death of 798 SDF and 696 TFSA fighters, 61 Turkish soldiers, 51 pro-Syrian government militiamen and 564 civilians by 26 April 2018.
Turkey stated that 4,612 SDF fighters were killed, wounded or captured. Pro-Turkish sources also reported the deaths of 318 TFSA fighters, 58 Turkish soldiers, one civilian worker and 7–9 civilians in Turkey. According to the SDF, 2,772 TFSA fighters and Turkish soldiers were killed, while they themselves lost 600–876 fighters. The SDF also reported 500 civilians and 62 pro-Syrian government militiamen were killed. British national Anna Campbell was killed fighting for the Kurdish forces in Afrin.
According to a pro-Assad and pro-Shia based news, the Turkish operation displaced 167,000 people as of 23 March 2018, up from 5,000 people in January 2018. Between 50,000 and 70,000 civilians still remained in Afrin city.
Alleged human rights violations
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized Turkey for having "failed to take necessary precautions to avoid civilian casualties" in several instances during the offensive. The report specifically cited three attacks which left 26 civilians dead of which 17 were children. Lama Fakih, the deputy Middle East director at HRW, stated: "It appears that vulnerable civilians are facing displacement and death because of the way Turkey's latest offensive is being conducted." The HRW noted that such attacks have been conducted near farms, homes, and civilian shelters. The HRW stated that such attacks are a violation of international law: "Turkey should thoroughly investigate these strikes, make the findings public, and provide adequate redress to civilian victims or their families. It should hold to account those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law arising from the attacks."
According to HRW, Turkish border guards have been indiscriminately shooting at refugees attempting to flee the conflict zone into Turkey. The deputy Middle East director at the HRW said: "Syrians fleeing to the Turkish border seeking safety and asylum are being forced back with bullets and abuse." Several witnesses who were asylum seekers affirmed that they were beaten, suffered abuses, and were denied medical care. The official statement from the HRW calls on Turkey to "respect the principle of nonrefoulement, which prohibits rejecting asylum seekers at borders when that would expose them to the threat of persecution, torture, and threats to life and freedom. Turkey must also respect the right to life and bodily integrity, including the absolute prohibition on subjecting anyone to inhuman and degrading treatment." A senior Turkish government official denied the report.
Videos emerged on social media which showed Turkish soldiers stepping on and kicking the corpse of a YPG fighter. More videos on social media then emerged, including one such video that showed Turkish soldiers beating a Kurdish civilian while questioning him.
Less than a week after the operation began, Redur Xelil, a senior SDF official, said that at least 66 civilians had been killed by aerial and artillery bombardment by Turkish forces, and accused Turkey of committing war crimes. Amnesty International reported that civilians were being killed by the Turkish Army due to indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, an act that is in violation of international law. According to Amnesty, the situation "painted a grim picture" throughout numerous villages in Afrin, within which civilians were subjected to indiscriminate shelling that lasted for hours. Amnesty also reported the shelling by the YPG of Azaz, though these actions were to a lesser extent. Lynn Maalouf of Amnesty International stated: "The use of artillery and other imprecise explosive weapons in civilian areas is prohibited by international humanitarian law and all parties should cease such attacks immediately."
Syrian news media outlets and Kurdish fighters stated that Turkish forces were bombing schools. The SOHR also stated that Turkey had bombed the main water plant of the city of Afrin, which supplies water to more than 100,000 civilians. Sixteen civilians were reported dead when Turkish forces bombed the only hospital in Afrin city. Those killed included two pregnant women. Turkey denied the reports. Turkish drone footage released the next day showed the hospital intact.
On 16 February, YPG forces stated that Turkey was using chemical gas attacks that wounded several people in Afrin. The SOHR then confirmed the incident and added that there were several individuals who had difficulty breathing and had dilated pupils. Also, Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a doctor in an Afrin hospital, mentioned the incident. Turkey later denied usage of chemicals, calling the accusations "baseless".
On 22 February, Syrian government news outlets stated that Turkey was bombing humanitarian aid convoys that were on their way to Afrin. As a result, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent stated that they had suspended all aid convoys to Afrin because it was unsafe for them to head there. On the same day, a video surfaced that showed Turkish backed rebels executing a civilian driving a farm tractor. This was followed by another video by the same group that showed a summary execution of six civilians, including one woman near Jendires. In another bombing in the same area, Kurdish militia claimed that Turkish air strikes had killed 13 civilians, including several children.
Several videos have emerged showing Turkish-backed Syrian militants mutilating the bodies of YPG fighters. One such video showed the mutilated body of a dead female YPG fighter with her breasts cut off. Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA) fighters who appear in the video call the female fighter a "female pig" and are heard saying "shame on them for sending women to fight". They are shown in the film stepping on the female YPG fighter's breasts. The TFSA said that it will investigate allegations that its fighters mutilated the corpse of a female member of the YPG.
The Independent stated that Turkish allied forces were of forcibly converting Yazidis, a Kurdish-speaking religious minority, to Islam and destroying Yazidi places of worship after conquering their villages.
The human rights organization Geneva Call stated that the YPG has been recruiting child soldiers during Operation Olive Branch. Geneva Call also stated that it had received "a worrying number of allegations on the use of child soldiers" by the YPG, even though the latter had previously signed an agreement to protect children in conflict zones. While pro-Turkish media reiterated these statements, with Daily Sabah stating that the YPG/YPJ had kidnapped children to use them in the defense of Afrin, the YPG denied all statements.
The United Nations reported that civilians were prevented from leaving the city of Afrin by the YPG/YPJ, and were at "high risk" of being "killed, injured, besieged, used as human shields or displaced as a result of the fighting."
Damage to archaeological and cultural sites
On 24 January, a rocket was fired from inside Syria, hitting the 17th century Çalık Mosque in Kilis, Turkey. The explosion killed two people who had been in the mosque for prayers and injured 11. The dome of the mosque was destroyed.
On 28 January 2018, Syria's antiquities department and the SOHR, said that Turkish shelling had seriously damaged the ancient temple of Ain Dara at Afrin. Syrian government called for international pressure on Turkey "to prevent the targeting of archaeological and cultural sites". Satellite imagery has shown that more than half of the temple is destroyed. Turkish Armed Forces denied the report.
On 23 March 2018 reports stated that Turkish airstrikes destroyed many important archaeological buildings including the Julianus Church, which is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, in the Brad ancient Christian heritage site near Afrin, which has been in UNESCO's world heritage list since 2011. On 24 March, the Turkish government denied the reports.
Turkish PM said that Turkey's economy would not be affected by the operation. However, on 7 March, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Turkey's debt, warning of an erosion of checks and balances under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and saying that the Afrin offensive, having strained ties with Washington and drawn the country deeper into the Syrian civil war, had added an extra layer of geopolitical risk.
In January 2019 Kurds stated that Turkey was stealing olive crops from Afrin. Turkey has admitted taking the olives, explaining: "We do not want revenues to fall into PKK hands". One of the Kurdish-led groups that has attacked the Turkish forces in Afrin calls itself "Wrath of Olives".
Reactions in Turkey
Rising anti-American sentiment has also occurred since the start of the operation. A poll conducted in Turkey during the operation revealed that 90 percent of respondents believed that the United States is "behind" the PKK and YPG.
According to a poll by pro-Turkish government A&G company, 89% of Turkish citizens see the PYD as a threat.
Groups in Turkey
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), İYİ Party, Republican People's Party (CHP), Patriotic Party and Democrat Party all supported the intervention, while the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Turkish Communist Party and the Labour Party opposed the intervention.
Less than a week after the operation began, İsmail Kahraman, the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly in Turkey and deputy of AKP, called for an open jihad in Afrin. He said: "Look, we are now in Afrin. We are a big state. Without jihad, there can be no progress, one cannot stand on their feet." When on 7 March a HDP deputy criticised the government for planning "ethnic cleansing" in Afrin, deputies of the governing AKP party physically attacked their HDP colleagues in parliament, leaving two HDP deputies injured.
On the website of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople it is written that Turkish Armenians are praying for Turkish soldiers "who are fighting against terrorists". Yetvart Danzikian, the editor-in-chief of Turkish-Armenian Agos newspaper in Turkey, asserted that it is wrong to state that the Armenians support the Patriarch. He added that there are "strong nationalists winds" in Turkey and going against the operation would lead to arrest and imprisonment. In a letter, addressed to President Erdoğan and published by Turkey's Hürriyet daily, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Bartholomew I of Constantinople, has also lent his support to the Turkish military operation. Hürriyet's report is reproduced by Greek media, some of which stress, however, that the letter is not uploaded in the Ecumenical Patriarchate's official website.
The Turkish Medical Association stated that the war could end in large-scale human tragedy to which Erdoğan responded by calling the doctors of the association "filth", "agents of imperialism", and "terrorist lovers". The Turkish interior ministry then opened an investigation into the association. At least eleven doctors were then arrested. Erdoğan stated that the association will lose it "Turkish" tag in its official name and clarified that the organization "will not be able to use the notion of Turkishness, nor the name Turkey." He then added: "This institution has nothing to do with Turkishness and nothing about them is worthy of the notion of Turkishness."
On 19 March, a group of at least seven students at Boğaziçi University conducted an anti-war protest to which Erdoğan responded by saying that the students were "terrorists" and "communist, traitor youth". He then started an investigation into the students and threatened to expel them from the university. He added: "we won't give these terrorist youth the right to study at these universities." The president of Boğaziçi University claimed that the protesters had assaulted the participants of a commemoration event on the campus for fallen Turkish soldiers and said their action was "an attack on freedom of expression". Days later, an additional fifteen students were arrested following the incident.
Turkish mainstream newspapers featured front page titles such as "We said we would strike despite the US and Russia. We struck the traitors", "We hit them in their den", "Iron fist to terror, olive branch to civilians", and "Our jets hit Afrin. Turkey's heart beats as one" from the Sözcü, Sabah, Habertürk, and Hürriyet newspapers respectively. İbrahim Karagül, editor-in-chief of the pro-AKP Yeni Şafak, wrote that the US is the real enemy and that it has a plan to "divide and destroy Turkey" by allying itself to PKK and ISIS. He called for the Incirlik Air Base to be shut down as "since the Syria war started, terrorist organizations are being controlled from this base." He also remarked that if it is not closed down "there will come a time when thousands of people surround and siege the İncirlik Base."
The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT World) reported that Free Syrian Army "has captured a weapon from the YPG, which is thought to have been supplied to the SDF by the United States."
A newscaster who worked for Akit TV, a television channel that is a part of Yeni Akit, a conservative and Islamist Turkish news outlet that supports the AKP and has close ties with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, resigned after threatening to kill civilians that lived in Turkey's secular neighborhoods in response to accusations of the civilians being killed in Afrin by the Turkish army. Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International's senior adviser on Turkey, stated that there has been an "alarming" increase of similar rhetoric in Turkey. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Gardner added: "But inciting to violence is something different and it is on the rise in Turkey. This is harmful for human rights and harmful for the society."
Media restrictions in Turkey
Turkish government ministers ordered the Turkish press to follow a 15-point list of "expectations" for reporting on the conflict, which included not mentioning attacks on civilians or protests against the operation, relying on Turkish government statements and ignoring statements by "domestic arms of the PKK", which include the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), ignoring any protests against the Afrin operation, and keeping in mind "national interest" and "patriotic journalism". Journalists were admonished not to "report news that boosts the morale of the PKK/PYD". Reporters without Borders notes that the goal of these directives is to essentially "put the Turkish media at the service of the government and its war goals." On 21 January Erdoğan warned that anyone in Turkey protesting against the operation would pay a "heavy price." Erdoğan then added: "Know that wherever you go out on the streets our security forces are on your necks."
In a 1 March 2018 report titled "No one in Turkey dares report accurately on the war in Syria", The Economist assessed that "the climate of fear, the ongoing state of emergency and the nationalist zealotry unleashed by the coup have made objective coverage of the war in Afrin impossible" and pointed to arrest as "the weapon of last resort" as well as a "nuanced system of incentives and sanctions". As of 23 January 2018, at least 24 journalists writing columns against the operation had been arrested in Turkey. In addition to the arrest of journalists, hundreds of known arrests occurred of social media users who criticized the operation. The Anadolu Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said that the posts were violations of the following crimes proscribed by articles of the Turkish Penal Code, including Article 301, which prohibit insulting public officials or the president, degrading the Turkish nation, and spreading terrorist propaganda.
During a news segment on Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), a newscaster is now being investigated by TRT's news division after she stated on air that civilians died due to Turkish bombardment. The news division stated: "After this sad mistake, our speaker has immediately been withdrawn from the air, and a new friend was assigned to replace her. Also, an investigation has been launched against our speaker."
Restrictions of free expression and arrests in Turkey
After the Turkish Medical Association stated that "every clash, every war, causes physical, psychological, social and environmental health problems and causes human tragedy", they were issued arrest warrants against 11 board members of the Turkish Medical Association for spreading terrorist propaganda.
Turkish authorities have arrested numerous leaders and high-ranking members of pro-Kurdish and left-wing political parties. On 6 February 2018, Mehmet Arslan, co-leader of the Democratic Regions Party, has been arrested for criticizing the operation. Days later, more have been arrested which include Onur Hamzaoğlu, a spokesman for the Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK), Musa Piroğlu, chairman of the Revolutionary Party, Naci Sönmez and Eylem Tunceli, Co-Chairs of the Green Left Party (YSGP), Fadime Çelebi, Deputy Chair of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed, Kezban Konukçu, spokeswoman for the Socialist Solidarity Party, and Ahmet Kaya, co-chair of the Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP). More arrests occurred on 19 February when dozens of politicians and journalists were arrested overnight including provincial heads of several Turkish cities that belong to the HDP. Among those arrested also included members of the Human Rights Association (IHD) and leaders of the Democratic Society Congress, a pro-Kurdish NGO.
Turkey has detained over 800 people for social media posts and protesters who opposed the offensive. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, called those who criticize the operation as being nothing but "Marxists, communists, and atheists" who are no different than the YPG. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated that those social users who make posts that criticize the operation or depict the military incursion as an attack on Kurds would be considered the "biggest villainy". In May 2019, eleven members of Turkey's leading medical association were imprisoned for criticising the invasion.
In regards to the arrests, Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said: "Detaining and prosecuting people for tweets calling for peace is a new low for Turkey's government." He then added, "Turkish authorities should respect people's right to peacefully criticize any aspect of government policy, including military operations, and drop these absurd cases."
Reactions in Syria
The Syrian Foreign Ministry on 20 January condemned "the Turkish aggression against the town of Afrin", calling it "an inseparable part of Syria". President of Syria Bashar al-Assad denounced the Turkish invasion as terrorism, saying "Turkey's aggression in the Syrian city of Afrin cannot be separated from the policy pursued by the Turkish regime since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis and built on support for terrorism and various terrorist groups".
On 19 March, after the capture of the city of Afrin by the Turkish forces, Syria's foreign ministry demanded that Turkey immediately withdraw from Afrin, saying in two letters sent to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UNSC that Turkey's occupation of the city was "illegal and contradicts the principles and purposes of UN Charter and international law." Among other things, the Syrian foreign ministry said: ″As part of the crimes committed by the Turkish army forces, including the ethnic cleansing policy, the properties of the citizens have been looted, their homes destroyed and many of them were detained.″
On 6 April, at the Non-Aligned Movement mid-term ministerial conference in Azerbaijan, Syria's permanent representative to the United Nations Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said that "Turkey has to withdraw its troops from Afrin. I am hoping that there will be pressure on Turkey to this end", adding that Syria expects Turkish troops to withdraw from Syrian soil as part of the trilateral mechanism created among Russia, Turkey and Iran: "Turkey's Afrin operation is a military aggression which violates the UN Security Council resolutions concerning Syria as well as the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement."
Other regional actors
Syrian National Coalition supported the joint operation of the Syrian National Army and the Turkish Armed Forces, considering it as continuation of the struggle against "the tyrannical regime and its allied Iranian terrorist organizations." The Coalition called Kurdistan Workers' Party, People's Protection Units, and Democratic Union Party "terrorist organizations," and urged to remove "their danger from Syria." The Syrian Coalition emphasized that "elected local councils will take on the administration of the freed towns and villages away from the authority of terrorist groups and the status quo they sought to establish." Syrian Turkmen Assembly: Emin Bozoğlan, ex-council head of the assembly stated: "We were informed that the terror group PYD/PKK will transfer its arms to Raqqa, where they used to work with regime forces for years." He also said Turkey should "definitely" take necessary measures in this regard. Kurdish National Council: KNC condemned the Turkish military operation in Afrin. In a statement on 22 January, the KNC "categorically rejected" the SNC statement supporting the operation, stating that the SNC statement was released without consultation with the KNC. The KNC also demanded a halt to Turkish bombing and military operations in Afrin. YPG also stated that the Russia is a "partner of bloodshed" with Turkey in Afrin.
The YPG stated that "they will respond to the Turkish provocation since civilians have been attacked". General Command of YPG in Afrin stated: "We know that, without the permission of global forces and mainly Russia, whose troops located in Afrin, Turkey cannot attack civilians using Afrin airspace. Therefore we hold Russia as responsible as Turkey and stress that Russia is the crime partner of Turkey in massacring the civilians in the region."
- Syrian population in Idlib Governorate: the local population denounced the move of rebel troops to serve Turkey in its focus on Afrin while the Syrian government led an active and successful offensive against rebel groups in the region.
Azerbaijan: Spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hikmət Hacıyev said that Azerbaijan fully understands Turkey's security concerns against the "terror threat". Hacıyev also said: "Azerbaijan, which suffered from terrorism, condemns all forms and manifestations of terrorism and supports the efforts of the international community in the fight against this menace." Bulgaria: The President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev condemned the operation and insisted that the European Union should intervene to stop it. Cyprus: The Republic of Cyprus condemned the Turkish invasion in Afrin as "illegal" and stressed that the Syrian crisis cannot be resolved by military means. Egypt: On 21 January, Egypt condemned Turkey's military operation in the Afrin region and stated it was a serious threat to Syria's sovereignty. On 19 March, the foreign ministry of Egypt condemned Turkey's capture of Afrin from the YPG, affirming its rejection of any "infringement on Syrian sovereignty", denouncing the large-scale displacement of Syrian civilians as well as the grave humanitarian threats posed by Turkey's seizure of the city: "Egypt considers the ongoing breach of Syrian sovereignty unacceptable." France: Since Ankara launched its operation against Afrin, Paris has been an unrelenting critic of the Turkish stance. Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian called for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting hours after the Turkish incursion into Afrin. On Twitter, he indicated that the meeting would also cover the situation in Ghouta and Idlib. President Emmanuel Macron stated on 31 January 2018, that if the Operation Olive Branch intends something different than securing Turkish borders against terrorists and evolves into an attempted invasion, that it becomes a real problem for France. Macron also stated that Turkey must respect Syria's sovereignty. On 7 February France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that Ankara should not worsen the Syrian conflict: "Ensuring the security of its borders does not mean killing civilians and that should be condemned. In a dangerous situation in Syria, (Turkey) should not add war to war." On 13 March, France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told lawmakers in parliament that Turkey's operation against the YPG in the Afrin region was not justified, the strongest language yet from Paris regarding its NATO ally's intervention in Syria. On 29 March 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to send troops to Syria's Manbij in a bid to assist local SDF militias in preventing Turkish forces from advancing on the town. On 30 March it was reported that France offered to mediate between Turkey and the SDF, an offer immediately rejected by Turkey. Germany: The assistant spokesman from the Minister for Foreign Affairs said that "Turkey has legitimate security interests along its border with Syria. We hope and expect that Turkey will continue to exert political and military restraint". Breul also added that Germany believes that the focus of military activities in northern Syria should be on ISIL and its successor terrorist organizations in the region. Due to the ongoing Operation Olive Branch, Germany halted the upgrading of the Leopard 2 tanks. According to Sigmar Gabriel, the German government decided it was better not to deliver arms to conflict zones. In the German parliament on 1 February, all parties criticised the Turkish assault on Afrin. As Turkey has been reportedly used Leopard 2A4 tanks (which are German-made) in the operation, the oppositional parties Die Linke and Die Grüne demanded a halt to all military cooperation with Turkey. After meeting with Turkish officials in Munich, the leader of the Green party, Cem Özdemir, who is a critic of the operation, received special police protection after being called a "terrorist" and receiving various other threats from the Turkish delegation. On 21 February, the chairman of the Bundestag foreign affairs committee. CDU's Norbert Röttgen said that Turkey should entirely withdraw from Syria and return to a political path in its conflict with Kurds. On 21 March, German chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Turkey's military offensive in Afrin: "Despite all justified security interests of Turkey, it's unacceptable what's happening in Afrin, where thousands and thousands of civilians are being pursued, are dying or have to flee." Iran: A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 21 January said: "Iran hopes that this operation will be ended immediately to prevent a deepening of the crisis in the border regions of Turkey and Syria. A continued crisis in Afrin may boost (..) terrorist groups in northern Syria." On 5 February, Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran, demanded Turkey to immediately halt its operation. Iraq: The Iraqi government condemned the operation. Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on 4 February stated: "We reject any foreign nation from intervening in the affairs of another country." Luxembourg: In a 19 March media interview, Luxembourg's foreign minister Jean Asselborn said about Turkey's conduct that "this has nothing to do with self-defence any more", adding that Turkey would have to cease and desist from attacking the YPG and explain its conduct in Afrin to the NATO council. Netherlands: The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Halbe Zijlstra, on 22 January said that Turkey had the right to defend itself and its border, but at the same time pleaded with Turkey to show restraint. He also mentioned in his letter to the Dutch parliament that the Turkish offensive in Afrin would impact the joint fight against ISIL. He believes this to be the case, because the Kurdish YPG fights alongside the international coalition against ISIL, and are now being attacked by Turkey. Furthermore, he hopes to get more information from Turkish authorities concerning the operation, however, if this is not the case, then he will ask for more clarity at the next NATO meeting. Qatar: Spokeswoman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lulwah Rashif Al-Khater said that: "The launching of the Turkish military operation last Saturday was motivated by legitimate concerns related to its national security and the security of its borders, in addition to protecting Syria's territorial integrity from the danger of secession. Turkey, a NATO member, has always been a stabilizing factor in the region." She also added that Turkey's counterterrorist operation in Syria's Afrin region was motivated by legitimate security concerns. Russia: The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow was closely following the situation in Syria's Afrin and was concerned by the news about the Turkish military engagement in the city. The Russian Ministry of Defense said that Russia was withdrawing its troops from Syria's Afrin, the target of the Turkish offensive. Chairman of the Defense Committee of the State Duma Vladimir Shamanov said: "Not to recognize the Turkish interests in Afrin is impossible." Assistant to the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia Alexander Venediktov said: "The Kurds are being boosted with advanced weaponry. The deliveries of modern weapons and encouragement of separatist sentiments among the Kurds have in fact provoked Turkey into carrying out the military operation in Syria's northern Afrin region." On 9 April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia expects Turkey to bring Afrin under the control of the Syrian government. Sweden: The Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Margot Wallström on 7 February cancelled her visit to Turkey that was due in two weeks, to protest the Afrin invasion. United Kingdom: Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said: "Watching developments in Afrin closely. Turkey is right to want to keep its borders secure. We share the goal of reducing violence and keeping the focus on the most important task: a political process in Syria that leads to the end of the Assad regime." On 26 January, PM Theresa May called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, both have agreed that civilians must be protected in his country's offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria. Downing Street spokesman said: "The leaders discussed the ongoing Turkish operation in Afrin in Syria, with the Prime Minister recognising the right of Turkey to secure its border." United States: A spokesman for the Pentagon stated: "We encourage all parties to avoid escalation and to focus on the most important task of defeating ISIS." The spokesman then added that the United States understands Turkey's concerns about the PKK, but would like to see a deescalation of violence and instead focus on fighting ISIS. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert called on Turkey not to engage in any invasion of Syria's Afrin, reiterating a statement made by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who also assured that the US had no intention of building a Syria-Turkey border force, saying the issue, which has incensed Ankara, had been "misportrayed." A day later, Tillerson then added that the United States is "very concerned" and that the operation should remain limited in scope and should show restraint. In a phone call on 24 January 2018, President Donald Trump urged Erdoğan to "deescalate, limit its military actions, and avoid civilian casualties and increases to displaced persons and refugees." Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag urged the United States to halt its support for Kurdish YPG fighters, saying: "Those who support the terrorist organization will become a target in this battle." After Turkey has urged the US to remove its troops from Manbij, saying that otherwise they might come under attack from Turkish troops; however, US General Votel confirmed an American commitment to keeping troops in Manbij. In an interview Defense Secretary James Mattis stated that Turkey is the only NATO state which has an insurgency inside its borders, and has "legitimate security concerns". He also said that Turkey warned the US, before they launched the operation against the SDF. On 12 February, the United States Department of Defense released a budget blueprint for 2019 which with respect to the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) included $300 million for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and $250 million for border security.
Arab League: On 19 February, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit appealed to Turkey for restraint in "intervening in an Arab country south of your borders." On 15 April, the Arab League passed a resolution calling on Turkish forces to withdraw from Afrin. European Union: The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said she was "extremely worried" and would seek talks with Turkish officials. She expressed her concerns for two reasons: "One side is the humanitarian one – we need to make sure that humanitarian access is guaranteed and that civilian population and people are not suffering from military activities on the ground." The second issue was the offensive "can undermine seriously the resumption of talks in Geneva, which is what we believe could really bring sustainable peace and security for Syria". On 8 February, the European Parliament condemned the mass arrest of critics in Turkey of the Afrin operation, and criticized the military intervention as raising serious humanitarian concerns. "[MEPs] are seriously concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the Turkish assault and warn against continuing with these disproportionate actions," the parliament's statement said. On 19 March, Federica Mogherini criticized Turkey, saying that international efforts in Syria are supposed to be "aiming at de-escalating the military activities and not escalating them." NATO: Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference in Madrid that Turkey is "the NATO Ally which has suffered most from terrorist attacks over many years and Turkey, as all of the countries, have the right to self defence, but it is important that this is done in a proportionate and measured way." Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: OSCE has criticized the Turkish government over the detention of social media users for criticizing the operation.
Other political entities
Iraqi Turkmen Front: Aydin Maruf, lawmaker of ITF said: "We are well aware that this operation targets terrorist organizations in Afrin and not local residents or our Kurdish brothers. The armed groups currently based there, in Afrin, pose a serious threat to Turkey and the wider region. Iraq's Turkmen, as always, stand with the Turkish Republic. We believe this operation will serve to restore peace, prosperity and brotherhood to the area. The PYD/PKK terrorist group's presence in the Iraqi district of Sinjar disturbs all of the region's ethnic groups. We believe therefore that it is important to launch another such operation in Sinjar." Kurdistan Regional Government: Kurdish Parliament condemned the Turkish military operation in Afrin, calling on the United Nations and the international community to stop the attacks. Kurdistan Workers' Party: PKK's women wing YJA member Ulkem Guneş, who uses Ciwal Simal as her nom de guerre, said: "Afrin resistance will open the northern revolution of Kurdistan and Turkey." She also called for uprising inside Turkey. Her speech ended with "Long Live Afrin Resistance" and "Leader Apo" slogans. Kosovo: Kosovan Police prohibited a pro-Kurdish "Freedom to Kurdistan" event from taking place. Official reasons by the police given were there was the organizers lacked permits and that "unnamed individuals might try to cause an incident during the event that could result in consequences". Turkish media praised that ban, claiming that the event would spread pro-terrorist propaganda. Minister of Public Administration Mahir Yağcılar condemned the planned event, calling it a "provocation" and urged people to avoid activities that would damage Kosovo's image and the country's relations with Turkey. Northern Cyprus: Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün said his greatest wish is the successful outcome of the Afrin operation. Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said: "We fully stand by and are a supporter of Turkey in its fight against terrorism and in its steps that have been taken to ensure its territorial integrity."
- The office of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper, Afrika, was attacked after Erdoğan pointed out in a public speech that the newspaper wrote an article entitled "Yet Another Invasion by Turkey", referring to what they perceived to be the operation's similarities with the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Erdoğan called it a "dirty headline" and suggested that "his compatriots in Northern Cyprus" should "give the necessary response to this", which provoked a crowd of 500 protesters to surround the newspaper's offices and hurl eggs, stones, and water bottles while some carrying flags of Erdoğan. The attacks damaged furniture, windows, and equipment. The police, who were at the scene, watched the incident and did not intervene. Mustafa Akıncı, President of Northern Cyprus, condemned the attack and went to the site during the rally to request extra security for the newspaper, only to be attacked by the crowd himself. A March for Peace and Democracy was organised by civil society in response to the attack.
- "Turkey takes full control of Syria's Afrin region, reports say". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Chulov, Martin (19 March 2018). "Kurdish militia vows to make Afrin 'an ongoing nightmare' for Turks". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- "Afrin beginning to look less like a victory for Turkey as YPG mounts guerrilla campaign". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Borzou Daragahi (13 July 2018). "Turkey Has Made a Quagmire for Itself in Syria". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "Turkey will not act against Russia, says deputy PM". Anadolu Agency. 26 March 2018.
- "Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army capture Afrin city". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Turkish army, FSA liberate another village in northwestern Syria". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
- "Turkish army, FSA clear 7 more areas in NW Syria". Anadolu Agency. 4 March 2018.
- "Syrian regime fighters 'heading to Afrin to join Kurds in fight against Turkish forces'". The Daily Telegraph. 19 February 2018.
- Fehim Tastekin (26 January 2018). "Erdogan's plans for Afrin might not sit well with Syria". al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Pro-Syrian government fighters start to enter Afrin – Hezbollah media unit". Reuters.
- "Turkey shells Assad loyalists trying to cross into Syria's Afrin". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Un convoi de 5.000 Kurdes à Afrin contre l'invasion turque" [A convoy of 5,000 Kurds in Afrin against the Turkish invasion]. Jforum (in French). 6 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
- Julian Röpcke (27 January 2018). "Türkische Offensive in Nordsyrien. Deutsche kämpfen gegen Erdogan" [Turkish offensive in northern Syria. Germans fight against Erdogan]. Bild. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Assad, Iran support Kurdish forces against Turkey in Syria's Afrin with key weapon systems – reports". Al Masdar News. 9 February 2018.
- sitesi, milliyet.com.tr Türkiye'nin lider haber. "Son dakika: Afrin harekatını Korgeneral İsmail Metin Temel yönetecek!". Milliyet.com.tr. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Free Syrian Army prepares to participate in Afrin battle, Aleppo". SMART News Agency. 21 January 2018.
- "Kurdish fighters join Turkey's Afrin operation". Al Monitor. 16 February 2016.
- Archived 16 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine 400 asker Afrin’e doğru yola çıktı
- Archived 16 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine Afrin'de üç köy daha terörden temizlendi
- "Who Are the Pro-Turkey Rebels Advancing on Syria's Afrin". Naharnet. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "The 'Sham Corps' isolates leader Yasser Abdel Rahim". Enab Baladi. 7 February 2018.
- "The killing of a corps commander in the 'Free Army' in the battles of Afrin". Enab Baladi. 9 March 2018.
- Leith Aboufadel (23 January 2018). "Kurdish forces kill high ranking FSA commander in northern Afrin". al-Masdar News. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Bahjt Abedo :Our forces restrained mercenaries, resistance continues". Hawar News Agency. 26 January 2018. Archived from the original on 27 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Afrin Defense Minister: "Turkey is preparing for mass deaths"". ANF News. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
- "SDF launches revolutionary operation in Afrin". Hawar News Agency. 21 January 2018. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018.
- "Efrîn'de hayatını kaybeden 6 YPG'linin kimlikleri açıklandı". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Archived 17 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine YPJ .. We pledge to raise level of struggle to leaders Tokshin, Zilan
- "Commander of "Jaysh al-Thuwar": We fight cowardice to the side, do not believe the false news". Hawar News Agency. 21 January 2018. Archived from the original on 22 January 2018.
- "Syrian Democratic Forces to withdraw fighters from eastern Syria to 'confront Turkish aggression' in Afrin". Syria Direct. 6 March 2018.
- "Efrîn'deki MLKP komutanı Viyan İsyan: Zafer bizim olacak" [MLKP commander Viyan İsyan in Afrin: Victory will be ours]. ETHA (Etkin Haber Ajansı) (in Turkish). 27 January 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "Pro Assad regime 'Popular Forces' suffering a painful blow in Afrin". 2 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- "Faraj: 10 soldiers martyred, 8 wounded by Turkey's violation of SC's resolution – ANHA". en.hawarnews.com. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- Archived 7 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine مقتل مراسلين حربيين ورئيس عمليات لقوات الأسد في عفرين
- "Dakika dakika Afrin'de yaşanan son dakika gelişmeler!". Habertürk. 22 January 2018.
- Archived 23 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Suriye Dışişleri Bakan Yardımcısı BBC'ye konuştu: Türkiye'nin harekatı işgal, hava savunma sistemlerimiz hazır
- "BASIN AÇIKLAMASI" (in Turkish). General Staff of the Republic of Turkey. 20 January 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- "Türkei rückt in Syrien gegen Kurden vor – mit deutschen Panzern". Focus (in German). 22 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "M60T Sabra tipi ağır muharebe tankları Afrin'de görev almak için sınırda konuşlandı Gündem Haberi – GÜNEŞ". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "T-155 Fırtına Obüsleri nedir? - Akşam". aksam.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- Kanal, Ulusal. "Afrin harekatında yerli silahlar kullanılıyor haberi – Son Dakika Güncel Haberler". Ulusal (in Turkish). Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Mayınlar 'Kirpi'yle güvenli şekilde aşılıyor | STAR". Star.com.tr. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "'Milli İHA'lar Afrin'de ilk kez kullanılıyor" (in Turkish). Sputnik News. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Afrin'de son durum.. 'Zeytin Dalı' operasyonunda kaç terörist öldürüldü - Son Dakika Haberler". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Mehmet Guzel; Philip Issa (20 January 2018). "Turkish jets bombard Kurdish-run city of Afrin in Syria". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- Suleiman Al-Khalidi (21 January 2018). "FSA Commander Says 25,000 Syrian Rebels Back Turkish Force in Syria". Reuters. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Erdogan: Operation in Syria's Afrin has begun". Al Jazeera. 21 January 2018.
- Eric Schmitt; Rod Rordland (28 February 2018). "Amid Turkish Assault, Kurdish Forces Are Drawn Away From U.S. Fight With ISIS". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
- "Breaking: Second wave of pro-Syrian Army forces enter Afrin to bolster Kurdish defenses". 21 February 2018.
- "On the eve of Nowruz festivals…Afrin witnesses arrests against its residents by the factions of "Olive Branch" on charge of celebrating and setting fire in the festival's anniversary • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". 21 March 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
"3 members including a Turkish soldier were killed as a result of targeting by unidentified persons to a military checkpoint in Afrin city north-west of Aleppo • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". 5 August 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "About 5 Turkish soldiers were killed and wounded by the Kurdish Forces' targeting of the Turkish base near al-Basutah north Aleppo • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". 26 June 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Results of battles and resistance of YPG throughout 2018 | English". www.ypgrojava.org. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Erdogan says 3,747 terrorists 'neutralized' in Afrin op". Anadolu Agency. 25 March 2018.
Afrin beginning to look less like a victory for Turkey as YPG mounts guerrilla campaign Archived 24 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine
- "Turkey neutralizes over 4,500 terrorists in Afrin: Army". Anadolu Agency. 6 July 2018.
- Turkish soldier killed in clashes with Kurdish militia in Syria's Afrin
"1 Turkish soldier killed during anti-terror op in northern Syria". Daily Sabah. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
One Turkish soldier killed in Syria, military retaliates: ministry
Turkish soldier killed in clashes with Kurdish militants in Syria: ministry
Two Turkish soldiers killed in Kurdish militant attack in Syria: ministry
- "Turkish civilian worker killed, three soldiers wounded in Syria's Afrin". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Afrin administration: The war has moved to another stage". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "At least 48 Syrian pro-gov't fighters killed during Afrin battle: report". 5 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Turkey neutralizes 154 terrorists in April: Defense Ministry". Anadolu Agency. 29 April 2019.
- "One Turkish soldier killed in Syria's Afrin".
- "Soylu: 31 asker, 9 sivil, 39 ÖSO mensubu şehit oldu". Milli Gazete. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "7 civilians killed in Turkey in YPG/PKK terrorist attacks". Retrieved 6 February 2018.
- "Syrian city's displaced caught in limbo – CNN Video". CNN. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- FRANTZMAN, SETH J. (26 March 2018). "DISPLACED KURDS FROM AFRIN NEED HELP, ACTIVIST SAYS". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018.
- "After displacing more than 300000 Kurdish residents of Afrin people, Turkish-backed factions seize more than 75% of olive farms and receive the price of the first season in advance". SOHR. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
- "Operation Olive Branch launched in Syria's Afrin to clear PKK, Daesh, Turkish military says". DailySabah. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkey shells Syria's Afrin region, minister says operation has begun". Reuters. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Hundreds of the factions' fighters head to the borders of Turkey and Iskenderun with Afrin in a preparation for the attack which will be carried out through 10 fronts at least". Syriahr.com. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Syria war: Turkey-backed forces oust Kurds from heart of Afrin". BBC. 18 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin". Retrieved 10 October 2018.
- "Turkish offensive displaces 167,000 in Syria's Afrin: UN". Shiite News. Shiitenews.com. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
- Syria Observatory for Human Rights (20 September 2018). "After displacing more than 300000 Kurdish residents of Afrin people, Turkish-backed factions seize more than 75% of olive farms and receive the price of the first season in advance".
- "Yazidis who suffered under Isis face forced conversion to Islam amid fresh persecution in Afrin". Independent. 18 April 2018.
Other displaced people from Eastern Ghouta are being moved into houses from which their Kurdish inhabitants have fled and are not being allowed to return according to SOHR. It says that refugees from Eastern Ghouta object to what is happening, saying they do not want to settle in Afrin, "where the Turkish forces provide them with houses owned by people displaced from Afrin". The Eastern Ghouta refugees say they resent being the instrument of "an organised demographic change" at the behest of Turkey which would, in effect, replace Kurds with Arabs in Afrin.
- "In Afrin, checkpoints inspect the people of the area and building, houses and farms are seized, continued looting, preventing the displaced people from returning and turning entire villages into military positions". The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 25 April 2018.
- "Erdogan says to extend Syria operation despite risk of U.S. confrontation". Reuters. 24 January 2018.
- Nordland, Rod (7 February 2018). "On Northern Syria Front Line, U.S. and Turkey Head into Tense Face-off". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Terrified children, empty streets in Syria's Afrin as Turkey attacks". France 24. 20 January 2018.
- "Videos of Syrian Militia Abusing Kurdish Fighter's Corpse Stir Outrage". The New York Times. 5 February 2018.
- "Syria war: Turkey 'indiscriminately shelling civilians in Afrin'". BBC. 28 February 2018.
- "Turkish army hit village in Syria's Afrin with suspected gas: Kurdish YPG, Observatory". Reuters. 16 February 2018.
- "Turk border guards shoot at fleeing Syrians – Human Rights Watch". Reuters. 3 February 2018.
- "Turkish ground troops enter Syria enclave". BBC. 21 January 2018.
- "Erdogan warns of 'heavy price' for protests against Syria operation". Arab news. 21 January 2018.
- "Turkey demands "patriotic" coverage of military offensive in Syria". Reporters without Borders. 23 January 2018.
- "The Latest: Turkey holding 573 over Syria criticism". The Washington Post. 5 February 2018.
- "845 people detained in Turkey for opposing Afrin operation so far". Turkey Purge. 26 February 2018.
- "Turkey detains 91, including politicians, journalists, over Syria comments". Reuters. 23 January 2018.
- "Turkey detains pro-Kurdish leaders ahead of congress – party". Reuters. 9 February 2018.
- "Turkey launches offensive against Kurdish-held Afrin in Syria | News". Deutsche Welle (www.dw.com). 19 January 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- Schmidinger, Thomas. "Afrin and the Race for the Azaz Corridor". Atlantic Council. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
- CNN, Nick Paton Walsh. "Syria war near Aleppo: Huge impact on Sunni moderates – CNN". CNN. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- Girit, Selin (18 February 2016). "Why Azaz is so important for Turkey". BBC News. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "US and Russian military units patrol Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria". Al-Masdar. 1 May 2017.
- "Turkey's operation in Syria's Afrin: The key players". Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- CNN, Gul Tuysuz, Joe Sterling and Schams Elwazer. "Turkish jets hammer Syrian town to oust US-backed Kurdish militia". CNN. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "US does not see YPG as terrorist group despite Turkish concerns: State Department". Hürriyet Daily News. 9 March 2017.
- "CIA officially recognizes PYD as terror group PKK's Syrian wing". Daily Sabah. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- Archived 30 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine US intel report presented to Congress says YPG is ‘PKK's Syrian militia,’ searching for autonomy
- "Turkey gave U.S. heads-up on Syria operation, has 'legitimate' security concerns: Jim Mattis". Japan Times. 22 January 2018. ISSN 0447-5763. Archived from the original on 12 February 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "Erdoğan accuses US of planning to form 'terror army' in Syria". The Guardian. 15 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- Эрдоган в разговоре с Путиным пригрозил сирийским властям последствиями за сотрудничество с курдами Archived 19 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine NEWSru, 19 February 2018.
- The Latest: Russia Warned Kurdish Officials of Turkey Attack: Three Kurdish officials have said that Russian military officials have proposed handing over a Kurdish-ruled enclave in Syria's northwest to the Syrian government to avert a Turkish military offensive. Archived 20 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine AP/U.S. News & World Report, 21 January 2018.
- "Afrin puts Turkish-Iranian-Russian mistrust on full display". Al-Monitor. 16 February 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "YPG Shelling Renders Azaz Psychiatric Hospital Inoperable – Revolutionary Forces of Syria media office". rfsmediaoffice.com. 20 January 2018.
- "10 women at least were wounded by YPG shelling at the psychiatric hospital in Azaz north Aleppo".
- "Russian troops in Afrin begin withdrawing: Turkish state-run agency". Hürriyet Daily News. 19 January 2018. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Breaking: Russian troops withdraw from Afrin ahead of Turkish invasion". 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Former PYD leader Salih Muslim, pro-Assad group leader Mihraç Ural added to Turkey's 'wanted terrorists' list". Hürriyet Daily News.
- Archived 26 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Syrian Kurdish leader arrested in Prague at Turkey's request
- Archived 26 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Turkey requests extradition of Kurdish ex-leader Salih Muslim
- Archived 28 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Czech court releases Salih Muslim, preventing Turkey extradition
- Archived 28 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Turkey lashes out at Czech court over Salih Muslim's release
- "Kurdish fighters join Turkey's Afrin operation Archived 17 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine". Al-Monitor. 16 February 2018.
- "Turkey accused of recruiting ex-Isis fighters in their thousands to attack Kurds in Syria". Independent. 7 February 2018.
- "After continued and heavy shelling since Wednesday…the Turkish forces and the factions of Operation "Olive Branch" take the control of about half of the city of Afrin". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 18 March 2018.
- "Syria's war of ethnic cleansing: Kurds threatened with beheading by Turkey's allies if they don't convert to extremism". Independent. 3 March 2018.
- "Propaganda machines at full speed in northern Syria conflict". France 24. 3 March 2018.
- "The Turkish forces, the Gray Wolves and the factions advance in the west of Afrin and seek to wrap around a new village to expand their scope of control backed by intensive aerial and ground shelling". Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). 30 January 2018.
- "Erdogan: Operation in Syria's Afrin has begun". Al Jazeera.
- "Turkish field op against Afrin Kurds 'de facto underway' – Erdogan". Russia: RT.
- "After continued and heavy shelling since Wednesday…the Turkish forces and the factions of Operation "Olive Branch" take the control of about half of the city of Afrin". SOHR. 18 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Asayish Forces in Tirbe Sipi renewed martyrs pledge". Hawar News Agency. 31 January 2018. Archived from the original on 3 February 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Syria: new allegations of child recruitment in Afrin". Geneva Call. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- "British men prepare to fight Turkish-led forces in Syria". BBC. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- Megan Specia (27 January 2018). "Foreign Fighters Back Kurdish Militia in Syria in Fight Against Turkey". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- "Komalên Ciwan Efrîn'de hayatını kaybeden Navdar Serhat'ı andı". ANF News (in Turkish). 26 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
- Ammar Hamou; Mohammad Abdulssattar Ibrahim; Avery Edelman (21 February 2018). "Turkish-backed forces advance in Afrin despite entry of pro-government militias". SYRIA:direct. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- Haaretz; Reuters (12 February 2018). "Why Assad Quietly Aids Syrian Kurds Against Turkey". Haaretz. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
- "British men prepare to fight Turkish-led forces in Syria". BBC News. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- "Tehdit savurmuşlardı... 3 yabancı terörist öldürüldü". www.hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Fallen martyrs of Afrin resistance – English". www.ypgrojava.org.
- Birgir Olgeirsson; Kolbeinn Tumi Daðason; Samúel Karl Ólason (7 March 2018). "Íslendingur sagður hafa fallið í stríðsátökum í Sýrlandi". Vísir.is (in Icelandic). Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Etkin Haber Ajansı (6 March 2018). "EÖT savaşçısı İzlandalı Haukur Hilmarsson şehit düştü". etha.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- Alma Ómarsdóttir (7 March 2018). "Aktífisti og baráttumaður fyrir hælisleitendur". RÚV (in Icelandic). Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "Íslendingur sagður hafa verið myrtur af tyrkneska hernum í Sýrlandi". Stundin (in Icelandic). 7 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
- "NSO | Olive Branch Capture Sharran Area and SDF Move Hundreds of Fighters from East Euphrates to Efrin". Nso-sy.com. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- Archived 10 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine Efrin'de 3 MLKP savaşçısı ölümsüzleşti
- Archived 25 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine Briton Anna Campbell killed fighting with Kurdish YPJ unit
- "8th British YPG/PKK terror group member dies in Syria". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "'Afrin Falcons' claim responsibility for city bombings". Rudaw Media Network. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
- "Afrin Liberation Forces hit invaders in Mare". ANF News. 21 January 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (28 June 2018). "Mysterious armed group warns Afrin residents of 'new battle'". Kurdistan 24. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (22 August 2018). "YPG rejects involvement in attacks by mysterious groups in Afrin". Kurdistan 24. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
- "Turkey steps up Syria shelling as invasion of Afrin looms". BBC. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "Turkish troops shell Afrin to oust US-backed Kurdish militia". Channel NewsAsia. Associated Press. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "Afrin: sneaking attempt thwarted, YPG, YPJ inflicted mercenaries vast damage – ANHA". en.hawarnews.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- Shaheen, Kareem (21 January 2018). "Turkey starts ground incursion into Kurdish-controlled Afrin in Syria". The Guardian.
- "Airstrikes pound Syria's Afrin as Turkey launches 'Operation Olive Branch'". Reuters.
- "Turkey launches border security mission in Syria's Afrin". Turkey launches border security mission in Syria's Afrin. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Turkish state media reports that Turkish ground forces have crossed into Syrian Kurdish enclave". The Seattle Times. 21 January 2018. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Turkish troops attack Kurdish enclave in northern Syria". CBS News. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Syria offensive: Turkish troops 'capture villages' in Afrin". BBC News. 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Turkish soldier killed in clashes near Syria's Afrin region". Reuters. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "First Turkish soldier killed during northern Aleppo operation". 23 January 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- "Syria war: Thousands flee Turkish assault on Afrin enclave". BBC News. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- Nordland, Rod (30 January 2018). "Female Kurdish Fighter Kills Turkish Troops in Likely Suicide Bombing in Syria". The New York Times.
- Haber7. "Ağzında el bombasıyla Türk askerine saldırdı!". Haber7.
- "FSA Captures Bursaya Mountain And Begin The Battles To Reach Afrin" (in Arabic). Qasioun News Agency. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Turkish Forces Target Strategic Hill Near Syria's Afrin". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
Turkish Forces Target Hill in Syria Archived 31 January 2018 at the Wayback Machine
- "Turkish forces score first major victory in Afrin". 28 January 2018.
- "With the continuation of clashes in Afrin area, the Turkish warplanes re-bombard the village in which they carried out a massacre today, killing 8 civilians of one family including 5 children • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". 28 January 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkey-backed forces capture Syrian hill". 29 January 2018.
- kjenson (29 January 2018). "Battle for strategic Syrian peak continues". Archived from the original on 29 January 2018.
- "Turkish soldiers, FSA stay on alert at Mt. Bursaya". Anadolu Agency.
- "Turkish commander visits peak captured from terrorists". Anadolu Agency.
- "Breaking: Turkey-led rebel factions begin withdrawing from Afrin towards east Idlib to fight Syrian Army – reports". 1 February 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Убивающие турецких солдат курды получили подкрепление". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "YPG sends terrorists to Syria's Afrin under civilian guise". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Russia may have set up no-fly zone in Syria – claims – Ahval". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Supporters from across Rojava rally in Afrin". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Syrian Army allows massive YPG convoy to travel to Afrin from their lines". 6 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Afrin havasında Rusya molası". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "مجلس الأمن يرفض إدانة هجوم التحالف على النظام السوري". 8 February 2018.
- "Hava sahası açıldı: Türk Jetleri havalandı". Hürriyet Daily News.
- "Turkish helicopter shot down by Kurdish militia in Syria's Afrin: Erdo". Reuters. 11 February 2018.
- "Kurdish forces shoot down Turkish helicopter over Afrin: SDF". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- "Ambiguity surrounds the crew of a Turkish helicopter targeted by the Kurdish units in the skies of Raju area in the western section of Afrin countryside • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". 10 February 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "11 Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive". 10 February 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey". Agence-France Presse. 18 February 2018.
- "Turkey warns Syrian army against helping Kurdish YPG in Afrin". Reuters. 19 February 2018.
- "Cavusoglu: Nobody can stop Turkish forces in Afrin". Al Jazeera. 19 February 2018.
- "Syrian Kurdish YPG denies deal for army to enter Afrin". Reuters. 19 February 2018.
- "Russia's Lavrov calls for Syria-Turkey talks to resolve Afrin..." Reuters. 20 February 2018.
- ""Olive Branch" connects A'zaz city to the areas of "Sharan" and "Bulbul" in Afrin (map)". 20 February 2018.
- "Turkey Begins Shelling Pro-Government Forces in Syria". 20 February 2018.
- "Pro-government fighters move into Syria's Afrin". Al Jazeera. 20 February 2018.
- "Erdogan says pro-Damascus, Shi'ite forces repelled by Turkish artillery". Reuters.
- "No political agreement held with the Syrian regime, Saleh Musallam says". 21 February 2018.
- "Stakes rise in Turkey's Afrin assault as pro-Assad militia arrive". Reuters.
- "Turkey sends special forces for next stage of Afrin offensive". Reuters.
- "Turkey: UN resolution is not about Afrin". Al Jazeera.
- "Turkey takes full control of Afrin borders: monitor". Rudaw.
- "Eight Turkish soldiers killed, 13 wounded in clashes in Syria's Afrin". Agence-France Presse. 2 March 2018.
- "Turkey suffers deadly day in Afrin offensive". Agence-France Presse.
- "Afrin offensive: 36 pro-Syrian government soldiers 'killed in Turkish air strike'". BBC.
- Editorial, Reuters. "Syrian government makes Ghouta gains; Turkey steps up Afrin attack". Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- "Breaking: Turkey-led forces seize major Kurdish stronghold in west Afrin, prepare to storm another". Al-Masdar News. 3 March 2018.
- "The Latest: Turkey tightens grip on Syrian Kurdish enclave". 3 March 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- "Suriye İnsan Hakları Gözlemevi: Türk uçakları Suriye yönetimi yanlısı güçleri vurdu" (in Turkish). BBC Türkçe. 3 March 2018.
- "Afrin's battles rage and the Turkish forces fight desperately to take the control of two towns in the western section of the area with the help of intensive aerial and ground shelling". SOHR. 4 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
- Kurdistan24. "Turkish military intensifies bombardment on Afrin from four sides, rising civilian casualties". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Fears of besieging more than one million people in Afrin area by the Turkish forces after they become 12 km away from Afrin city". SOHR. 4 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
- "More than 120 casualties and injuries in the violent aerial and ground shelling on Afrin area". SOHR. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
- al-Khuder, Khalifa. "The Black Prison of Afrin". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- "US Coalition Asks for Pause in Hostilities in Northwest Syria". Voice of America. 6 March 2018.
- "Turkish military seize control of Jinderes town in Syria's Afrin region". 8 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Turkey May Be Violating International Law in its Afrin Offensive". Al Bawaba. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Afrin'de çok kritik gelişme! 17 Nisan Barajı da ele geçirildi". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Turkish forces reach outskirts of Afrin town: monitor". Reuters. 11 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Civilians organise 'human shield' to protect Kurdish Afrin". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 4 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Afrin: Turkish forces 'encircle' Syrian Kurdish city". BBC News. 13 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "Turkey says troops encircle Kurdish-held city in Syria". CNN. 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018.
- "Deutch Weller". Deutch Welle. 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
- "Turkish forces say they have 'surrounded' Afrin city". middleeast eye. 13 March 2018. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "Turkey forces encircle Kurdish-controlled centre of Afrin". Al Jazeera. 14 March 2018. Archived from the original on 13 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
- "7 Killed as Turkish Shelling of Kurdish Afrin Intensifies". Voice of America. 14 March 2018.
- "Turkish raids kill 10 Syria regime loyalists near Afrin: monitor". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- Ensor, Josie (13 March 2018). "Battle for Afrin: Turkish forces' advance raises fears of 'new Ghouta'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Erdogan menaces Afrin as YPG digs in". Al-Monitor. 12 March 2018. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Hundreds of civilians flee as Turkish forces advance on Syria's Afrin city". France 24. 12 March 2018. Archived from the original on 18 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Fighting in Afrin displaces thousands, says monitor". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 27 June 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- ""The Latest: Turkey urges Syrian Kurds in Afrin to surrender" Longview News Journal, 15 March 2018". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkish artillery fire on Syria's Afrin kills 18 civilians: Monitor". www.timesnownews.com. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkish air strike hits hospital in Syria's Afrin, nine dead: monitor". SBS News. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Syria: Children, families killed by airstrikes, shelling in Afrin – UN". UN News. 16 March 2018. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army capture Afrin city". www.aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Syria war: Turkey-backed forces oust Kurds from heart of Afrin". BBC. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Turkish forces and Syrian allies drive Kurds from Afrin". 18 March 2018. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019 – via www.reuters.com.
- "Displacement surges as twin military offensives drive thousands from Afrin and east Ghouta – UN". UN News. 21 March 2018.
- "Turkish-backed forces loot Syrian town of Afrin". CNN. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- "Pro-Turkish forces pillage Afrin after taking Syrian city". Agence France-Presse. 18 March 2018. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
- Khaled al-Khateb (29 March 2018). "Syrian opposition seeks to clamp down on looting in Afrin". al-Monitor. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- Archived 20 July 2018 at the Wayback Machine Shami Front taking action against looters in shape of battalion involved in attacking civilian funds in Afrin
- "Breaking: Turkish-backed rebels attack Syrian military in northern Aleppo". AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 21 March 2018. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- "Turkish-backed rebels seize first towns from government forces in northern Aleppo". AMN – Al-Masdar News | المصدر نيوز. 21 March 2018. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- Archived 27 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine Erdoğan: Tal Rifaat to be taken soon
- "Turkey refutes Russian call for Syria's Afrin". 10 April 2018.
- Madeline Edwards (6 August 2018). "As Syria's proxies converge on Idlib, what's next for Turkey's northern state-within-a-state?". SYRIA:direct and Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- Mohammad Abdulssattar Ibrahim; Alice Al Maleh; Tariq Adely (26 March 2018). "Interim governing council formed to tackle 'disaster' in Afrin after Turkish-backed offensive". SYRIA:direct. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- "Interim local council established in Syria's Afrin". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Interim local council established in Syria's Afrin - World News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Interim local council established in Syria's Afrin". Aa.com.tr. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi (23 August 2018). "In Syria, It's Either Reconciliation or Annexation". The American Spectator. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- Bahira al-Zarier; Justin Clark; Mohammad Abdulssattar Ibrahim; Ammar Hamou (14 May 2018). "Hidden explosives stunt movement, frighten Afrin residents two months into pro-Turkish rule". SYRIA:direct. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- al-Khateb, Khaled (24 May 2018). "Syria's Afrin rebuilds, welcoming back displaced citizens". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Ammar Hamou; Barrett Limoges (1 May 2018). "Seizing lands from Afrin's displaced Kurds, Turkish-backed militias offer houses to East Ghouta families". SYRIA:direct. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- "Kurds promise guerrilla war as Turkey-backed forces take Afrin city centre". Middle East Eye. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Saleh Moslem: Guerrilla warfare begins in Afrin". ANF News. Archived from the original on 11 July 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Syrian Kurdish forces threaten families of Turkey's allies in Afrin – Ahval". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
- Wilgenburg, Wladimir van. "YPG will target any group working with Turkish army in Afrin". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- "YPG rejects involvement in attacks by mysterious groups in Afrin". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Car bomb explodes in Jarabulus city, Aleppo". SMART News Agency. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- Sirwan Kajjo (30 June 2018). "Twin explosions mark new tensions in Afrin". Ahval. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- Wladimir van Wilgenburg (17 July 2018). "YPG continues attacks on Turkish army and rebels in Afrin". Kurdistan 24. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
- "After 54 Days of Controlling the Area, Turkish Warplanes Bomb North of Afrin, In Conjunction with Ground Shelling Accompanies A Direct Confrontation Between the Kurdish And Turkish Forces • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights". 11 May 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "YPG assassinated high ranking FSA commander in Afrin". AMN – Al-Masdar News.
- "Explosion in Afrin city center kills three". Kurdistan 24.
- "YPG rejects involvement in attacks by mysterious groups in Afrin". Kurdistan 24.
- "YPG claims it killed rebel commander, 18 fighters in Afrin". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "YPG's insurgent campaign edges closer to Afrin rebels, civilians with deadly attack". Syria Direct. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Amberin Zaman (4 March 2019). "Turkey faces growing Kurdish insurgency in Syria's Afrin". al-Monitor. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "1 Turkish soldier killed during anti-terror op in northern Syria". Daily Sabah. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
- "Turkey-backed Syrian rebels launch attack into Kurdish-held area". 4 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019 – via www.reuters.com.
- Desk, News (5 May 2019). "Turkish Army cancels offensive in northern Aleppo amid safe zone talks with Russia: reports". Retrieved 7 May 2019.
- "Two Turkish soldiers killed in Kurdish militant attack in Syria: ministry". Reuters. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- Patrick Cockburn (18 April 2018). "Yazidis who suffered under Isis face forced conversion to Islam amid fresh persecution in Afrin". The Independent. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
- "Syria's war of ethnic cleansing: Kurds threatened with beheading by Turkey's allies if they don't convert to extremism". The Independent. 12 March 2018.
- "Turkey opens gate with neighboring Syria's Afrin: trade minister". Reuters. 9 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
- "SMART News Agency - Clashes erupt between National Army and al-Sharqiya Martyrs Brigade in Afrin, killing and injuring members on both sides, according to military source". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Aboufadel, Leith (19 November 2018). "Rebel commander killed by Turkish military in northern Syria". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Afrin : Renegade rebels surrender to Turkish military". 19 November 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Aboufadel, Leith (19 November 2018). "Scores of rebels surrender to Turkish Army after fierce clashes in Aleppo". Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Clashes between pro-Turkish rebel factions kill 25 in Syria's Afrin". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Death toll: Battle of Afrin". Syrian Civil War Map. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
- Blake, Matt (23 March 2018). "'Thousands could die': female British fighter urges support for Syria's Kurds". The Guardian.
- "U.N. says Turkish offensive reportedly displaces 5,000". Reuters. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
- "Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock: Statement to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria (27 March 2018)". Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- Zaman, Amberin (5 March 2018). "Turkey moves to take key town in Afrin operation". Al-Monitor.
- "The Latest: UN delays vote on 30-day Syria cease-fire". Associated Press. 23 February 2018.
Human Rights Watch is criticizing the way Turkey is conducting its offensive in northern Syria, saying it has failed to take necessary precautions to avoid civilian casualties.
- "Rights group: Turkey not avoiding civilians in Syria strikes". Business Insider. 23 February 2018.
- "Deadly airstrikes continue near Damascus as death toll surpasses 400". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 23 February 2018.
- "Syria: Civilian Deaths in Turkish Attacks May Be Unlawful". Human Rights Watch. 23 February 2018.
- "Ankara Faces Mounting Pressure Over Syria Operation". VOA. 2 March 2018.
- "Syria: 'Unlawful' civilian deaths in Afrin condemned as Assad forces raise stakes in Kurdish-Turkey conflict". Independent. 23 February 2018.
- "Turkish forces shell convoy headed to Syria's Afrin region". Reuters. 23 February 2018.
- "Turkey/Syria: Border Guards Shoot, Block Fleeing Syrians". Human Rights Watch. 3 February 2018.
- "Turkey denies report border guards shot at fleeing Syrians". Reuters. 3 February 2018.
- "Fighting in northwest Syria is in a tailspin, as Turkish forces shoot at fleeing civilians and mutilate US-backed forces". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Video purportedly shows Turkish soldiers beat Kurdish villager in Afrin – Turkey Purge". 5 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "U.S.-backed SDF warns Turkey against widening attack". Reuters. 26 January 2018.
- "Turkish army hit school, water plant in Syria's Afrin: Syrian Kurdish YPG". Reuters. 7 February 2018.
- "Turkey accused of killing 16 in hospital attack". NHK World. 17 March 2018.
- "Pregnant women among dead as Turkish strike hits hospital in Syria's Afrin". Al-Arabiya. 17 March 2018.
- "Tragedy in Afrin and Ghouta continues, as Turkey denies striking hospital". The Daily Telegraph. 17 March 2018.
- "Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army group 'capture' Afrin city" Al Jazeera https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/free-syrian-army-group-captures-afrin-city-180318081430817.html Archived 18 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine
- "Turkey never used chemical weapons in Syria: Diplomatic sources". Hürriyet Daily News.
- "The Latest: Syrian leaflets urge Ghouta residents to leave". ABC News. Associated Press. 22 February 2018.
- "Factions of the 'Olive Branch' Operation carry out field executions in the countryside of Afrin, killing 7 persons including women". SOHR. 22 February 2018.
- "Turkish bombardment kills 13 in Syria's Afrin: YPG, monitor". Reuters. 3 March 2018.
- "The Latest: 7 killed in shelling of Syrian government areas". The Washington Post. 1 February 2018.
- "Syria: Outrage over 'mutilated' female Kurdish fighter". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Yazidis who suffered under Isis face forced conversion to Islam amid fresh persecution in Afrin". The Independent. 19 April 2018.
- Sinem Cengiz (23 February 2018). "Bias and hypocrisy in 'Olive Branch' coverage". Arab News. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- Anadolu Agency, Daily Sabah (7 February 2018). "US-backed YPG terrorists kidnap children to fight against Turkish military". Daily Sabah. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- Sinem Cengiz (6 August 2018). "YPG refutes HRW allegations on recruitment of child soldiers". ANF News. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
- Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (16 March 2018). "Press briefing notes on the situation in Afrin, Syria".
- "UN says civilians trapped, used as 'human shields' in Afrin". Middle East Central. 16 March 2018. Archived from the original on 17 March 2018.
- Civilians used as ‘human shields’ by YPG in Afrin, says UN Archived 18 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Hurriyet. 16 March 2018.
- "Reports of Turkish Attacks on Kurdish Positions After Kilis Mosque Attack". Yahoo News. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "Debris is seen inside the Calik mosque". ABC News. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "Aftermath of rocket attack on Turkey border town of Kilis" (Video). Associated Press. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "In call, Trump issues stern warning to Turkey over Syria operation". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "2 Rockets Launched on Kilis, Killing 2 People in Mosque". Bianet. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "Ancient Syrian temple damaged in Turkish raids against Kurds". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Syrian government says Turkish shelling damaged ancient temple". Reuters. Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Satellite Images of Afrin Identifies Massive Damage to Ancient Temple". Directions Magazine. 5 February 2018.
- "Famed Syria temple blown to pieces in Turkey assault". 1 February 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Turkish Forces Seize Syrian City of Afrin". 18 March 2018.
- "Turkish airstrikes 'damaged ancient Christian site' in Syria". 23 March 2018.
- "No ancient site, church, monastery in Afrin targeted in Turkish airstrike so far: Foreign Ministry". 25 March 2018.
- Archived 8 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine Afrin operation not to affect economy: Turkish PM
- "Moody's downgrades Turkish debt". Financial Times. 8 March 2018.
- "Turkey in a pickle over Syrian olives". 31 January 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Pro-government mob attacks pro-Kurdish HDP office in Istanbul". Turkey Purge. 29 January 2018.
- "Turkish religious authority calls for 'conquest' sermon in support of military". ahvalnews. 21 January 2018.
- "In Turkey, soaring support for Syrian offensive and rising anti-Americanism". The Washington Post. 4 February 2018.
- sitesi, milliyet.com.tr Türkiye'nin lider haber. "Ünlü araştırmacı Adil Gür: Zeytin Dalı harekatına destek yüzde 90".
- "Opposition MHP supports Afrin operation". anews.com.tr.
- "Turkey's opposition parties lend support to Afrin operation". Hürriyet Daily News.
- "Öncü Gençlik'ten Afrin Operasyonu açıklaması: Vatan Savaşı'nda zafer taarruzudur" (in Turkish). Patriotic Party. 21 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- Archived 14 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Demokrat Parti Genel Başkanı Uysal'dan Afrin operasyonu açıklaması
- Kurdistan24. "HDP condemns Turkey's Afrin invasion as assault on 'Kurdish freedom'". kurdistan24.net.
- "TKP'den 'Afrin' açıklaması: Çekin Suriye'den elinizi!". haber.sol.org.tr. 21 January 2018.
- "EMEP: Fraternity of peoples is bombed in Afrin". evrensel.net.
- "Erdogan umwirbt den Papst". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 5 February 2018.
- "Turkey's Erdogan Declares Jihad on Religious Minorities in Syria". Hudson Institute. 6 February 2018.
- "Turkey's Erdogan Declares Jihad on Religious Minorities in Syria Read Full Article Here Turkey's Erdogan Declares Jihad on Religious Minorities in Syria". Newsmax. 6 February 2018.
- "TBMM Başkanı Kahraman Kahramanmaraş'ta" (in Turkish). Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi Resmi İnternet Sitesi. 26 January 2018.
- "Meclis'te Afrin gerilimi: 2 HDP'li vekil yaralandı" (in Turkish). Demokrat Haber. 8 March 2018.
- Archived 24 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine Patrikhane'den 'Afrin operasyonu' mesajı
- "Agos Editor-In-Chief considers Armenian Patriarchate's statement in current nationalist atmosphere in Turkey understandable". ArmenPress. 25 January 2018.
- "Fear, Silence Weigh on Turkey's Armenians after Failed Coup". Eurasianet. 14 February 2018.
- "Istanbul Greek Orthodox Patriarch lends support to Turkey's 'Operation Olive Branch' in Syria's Afrin". Hürriyet Daily News. 26 January 2018.
- "Οικουμενικός: Προσευχόμαστε οι τουρκικές Ένοπλες Δυνάμεις να επιτύχουν τον σκοπό τους". ROMFEA (in Greek). Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
- "Δημοσίευμα της Χουριέτ για στήριξη Βαρθολομαίου σε Ερντογάν για την επιχείρηση στο Αφρίν" (in Greek). Πρώτο Θέμα. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Syria war: Turkey arrests hundreds for criticising Afrin offensive". BBC. 29 January 2018.
- Jones, Dorian. "Doctors Arrested as Turkish Crackdown Widens on Dissent". Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Medical association to lose Turkish tag over criticism of Syria campaign". Reuters. 9 February 2018.
- "Turkey's president calls anti-war students "terrorists"". The Washington Post. 24 March 2018.
- "Seven students detained". BBC Türkçe. 21 March 2018.
- "Boğaziçi Üniversitesinden 'Afrin lokumu' açıklaması". 22 March 2018.
- "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi'nde gözaltı sayısı 15'e çıktı". 26 March 2018.
- "Syria – Turks Attack Afrin, U.S. Strategy Fails, Kurds Again Chose The Losing Side". Strategic Culture. Strategic Culture Foundation. 22 January 2018.
- Karagül, İbrahim (26 January 2018). "US is the enemy for Turkey. One day, thousands of people will siege İncirlik as well". Yeni Şafak. Archived from the original on 26 January 2018.
- Afrin operation sees another area cleared of YPG/PKK Archived 3 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine". TRT World. 1 February 2018.
- "Turkey TV anchor Ahmet Keser quits over 'civilian killings' row". Al Jazeera. 28 February 2018.
- "Turkey imposes restrictive 'guidelines' on reporting Afrin battle". Middle East Eye. 22 January 2018.
- "'Muhalif' medyayı da çağırmıştı; Başbakan, 'Zeytin Dalı' harekâtını anlattı, basından beklentilerini sıraladı". 21 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan'dan flaş HDP açıklaması". www.sozcu.com.tr. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkey's Erdogan warns pro-Kurdish not to protest Afrin operation". Reuters. 21 January 2018.
- "No one in Turkey dares report accurately on the war in Syria". The Economist. 1 March 2018. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- "Journalists detained for social media posts criticising Turkish military operation". Initiative for Freedom of Expression. 23 January 2018.
- "Turkey's TRT probes news presenter for saying Turkish military targeting civilians in Afrin". Stockholm Center for Freedom. 29 January 2018. Archived from the original on 2 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "DBP Eş Genel Başkanı Mehmet Arslan gözaltına alındı" (in Turkish). Evrensel. 6 February 2018.
- "HDP Eş Başkanı Kemalbay: Baskılar mücadelemizi engelleyemez" (in Turkish). BBC. 9 February 2018.
- "Turkey detains 666 over social media criticism of Afrin operation". The Nation. 12 February 2018.
- "The Latest: Turkish, Russian leaders speak on Syria". The Washington Post. 19 February 2018.
- "Çavuşoğlu eleştirilere cevap verdi: YPG'ye ses çıkarmıyorsunuz çünkü aynı ideolojiyi paylaşıyorsunuz". CNN. 9 February 2018.
- "Turkey doctors get prison terms for criticising Syria offensive". France 24. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkey: Crackdown on Social Media Posts". Human Rights Watch. 27 March 2018.
- "Operation Olive Branch: What Happened in Syria Today?". Sputnik News. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Assad: Turkey's Syria offensive is 'support for terrorism'". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Assad slams Turkey's operation in Afrin as support for terrorism in Syria". TASS. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- Syria: Turkish regime forces occupation of Afrin illegitimate act Archived 20 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine SANA, 19 March 2018.
- "Syria slams Turkey 'occupation' of Afrin, demands withdrawal". Arab News. 19 March 2018. Archived from the original on 15 April 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
- "Syria expects Turkey to withdraw from its soil". Ahval. 6 April 2018. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
- "Syrian Coalition: Operation 'Olive Branch' is Fundamental Part of Battle Against Dictatorship". Syrian Coalition's Media Department. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Turkmen leaders hail expected Afrin operation". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Syrian Kurdish political coalition breaks rank with mainstream opposition to condemn Turkish attack on Afrin". Syria Direct. 22 January 2018.
- "The Kurdish National Council Confirms Its Categorical Rejection of the Coalition Statement Supporting The Turkish Intervention in Afrin". Yekîtî Media. 22 January 2018.
- Archived 9 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine The Russian Federation is a partner of bloodshed with the Turkish state in Afrin
- "Turkish jets bomb Syria's Kurdish-held Afrin". DW. 20 January 2018.
The YPG said the airstrikes had hit Afrin's civilian neighborhoods and left it with no choice but to fight back.
- "Turkish jets target 100 points including civilian areas in Afrin – ANF News English". Ajansfirat.com. 20 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Syrie: colère des habitants d'Idleb, délaissés des rebelles combattant à Afrin". RFI. 24 January 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
- "Azerbaijan fully understands Turkey's security concerns against terror threat – Foreign Ministry". 21 January 2018.
- "Bulgarian President calls for EU intervention against Turkish Syria incursion – Ahval". Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- "Bulgaristan'dan AB'ye: Afrin'e acil müdahale edin". Arti Gerçek. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- "The Republic of Cyprus condemns the illegal Turkish invasion in Afrin in north-western Syria". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "Egypt condemns Turkish military operation in Syria's Afrin – Xinhua – English.news.cn". Xinhua News Agency. 21 January 2018.
- "Egypt says Turkish capture of Afrin an 'infringement on Syrian sovereignty'". Ahram Online. 21 January 2018.
- Sayed Abdel-Meguid (6 April 2018). "French calls for emergency Security Council meeting on SyriaTurkey's fight with France over Afrin military operation". Ahram Online.
- "French calls for emergency Security Council meeting on Syria". Reuters. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "France's Macron warns Turkey over Syrian operation". Reuters. 31 January 2018. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Civilians pay price as Turkey battles Syrian Kurds". Associated Press. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "France says Turkey, Iran violating international law in Syria". Reuters. 7 February 2018.
- "Under pressure, France toughens talk on Turkish Syria operation". Reuters. 23 March 2018.
- "Syrie : Emmanuel Macron annonce l'envoi de soldats au secours des Kurdes" (in French). Le Parisien. 29 March 2018.
- "Syria war: France offers to mediate between Turkey and Kurds". BBC. 30 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
- "Germany: Turkey has legitimate security interests in Syria". dailysabah.com.
- (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Germany halts plans to upgrade Turkey's Leopard tanks | News | DW | 25 January 2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Opposition kritisiert 'Kniefall der Regierung' vor Erdoğan". Rudaw. 1 February 2018.
- "Polizei muss Grünen-Politiker Özdemir in München vor türkischen Delegierten schützen" (in German). HuffPost. 17 February 2018.
- "Cem Özdemir steht nach Begegnung mit Türkei-Delegation unter Polizeischutz" (in German). Augsburger Allgemeine. 17 February 2018.
- "CDU-Politiker Röttgen fordert Rückzug der Türkei aus Nordsyrien" (in German). Reuters. 21 February 2018.
- Turkey rejects Angela Merkel's criticism over Afrin offensiv Archived 22 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine". Deutsche Welle. 22 March 2018.
- "Iran calls for end to Turkish offensive in Syria". Reuters. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Iran urges Turkey to stop army offensive in northern Syria". Reuters. 5 February 2018.
- "Iraq rejects Turkish military 'intervention' in Afrin, FM". Rudaw. 4 February 2018.
- "Was Erdogan macht, hat nichts mit Selbstverteidigung zu tun". Der Spiegel. 19 March 2018.
- "Zijlstra kritisch over Turkse operatie: 'mogelijk impact op strijd tegen IS'" (in Dutch). NOS. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Qatar: Turkey's Olive Branch Operation In Afrin is Legitimate". www.qasioun-news.com. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Archived 17 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Shamans: not to recognize the Turkish interests in ‘ Afrīn is impossible
- Archived 1 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine US gave Kurds modern arms, made Turkey launch Afrin op – Russian Security Council
- Archived 2 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine US provoked Turkey to stage ongoing Afrin operation by arming YPG: Russia
- "Russia 'expects Turkey to hand over Afrin to Assad'". Hürriyet Daily News. 9 April 2018.
- "Swedish FM Wallström Cancels Turkey Visit Over Its Military Campaign in Afrin". Stockholm Center for Freedom. 7 February 2018.
- "UK: Turkey has legitimate interest in border security". Anadolu Agency.
- "PM and Erdogan discuss Turkish offensive against Kurdish militia in Syria". The Belfast Telegraph.
- "ABD'den ilk tepki: Türkiye'nin PKK ile ilgili güvenlik kaygılarını anlıyoruz". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
- "Turkey Attacks Kurds in Syria as U.S. Warnings Ignored" (21 January 2018). Bloomberg.
- "Readout of President Donald J. Trump's Call with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey". White House. 24 January 2018.
- Turkey to US: Stop YPG support or face 'confrontation' Archived 13 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine". Al Jazeera. 25 January 2018.
- CNN, Euan McKirdy. "US general: US troops won't withdraw from Syrian city of Manbij". CNN. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Turkey gave U.S. heads-up on Syria operation, has 'legitimate' security concerns: Jim Mattis". 22 January 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "Pentagon budget retains same troop levels in Iraq, Syria". Al-Monitor. 12 February 2018. Archived from the original on 13 February 2018.
- "War of words heats up between Turkish FM and Arab League chief". Al Arabiya. 19 February 2018.
- "Turkey slams Arab League resolution on Afrin operation". Yeni Safak. 18 April 2018.
- i24NEWS. "EU's Mogherini 'extremely worried' by ongoing Turkish offensive in Syria". i24NEWS. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "European Parliament condemns Turkey's crackdown on Afrin critics". Deutsche Welle. 8 February 2018.
- "EU criticizes Turkey's offensive in Syrian town of Afrin". Chicago Tribune. 19 March 2018.
- "Joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Defence of Spain, María Dolores de Cospedal García". NATO.int. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "OSCE blasts Turkey's legal moves against criticism of Afrin op". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- "Iraq's Turkmen back Turkish military operation in Syria". Anadolu Agency.
- Kurdistan24. "Kurdistan Parliament highlights Afrin resistance, calls Turkey to end military operation". Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "Komalên Ciwan û Komalên Jinên Ciwan ji bo 'Efrînê' bang kirin". ANF News. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- "Turkish Media Praise Kosovo For Banning Kurdish Event". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "Kosovo halts YPG/PKK terror group propaganda". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "Northern Cyprus supports Turkey's Afrin operation". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- Archived 23 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine TRNC backs Turkey's ongoing Afrin operation
- "Erdoğan'ın "cevap verilsin" dediği gazeteyi bu hale getirdiler". Retrieved 25 January 2018.
- ""Barış ve Demokrasi Yürüyüşü" yarın 17.00!de Dereboyu'ndan başlayacak". BRT. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Cumhurbaşkanı Akıncı: Afrika Gazetesinin Hedef Gösterilmesini Tasvip Edemem". Bianet. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Akıncı: "Afrika gazetesinin haberini benimsemedim ama provokasyona kesinlikle kalkışılmamalıdır"". Kıbrıs Postası. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- SOHR: 'Turkey supports anything that harms the Kurds' Interview with Rami Al Rahman
- Understanding Turkey's Afrin Operation Center for Strategic and International Studies