The Turkish Armed Forces started a major cross border air operation on the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in Syria's northwestern Afrin province on Saturday (20 January), before Turkey-backed rebels launched a ground operation with the support of Turkish tanks and cross-border artillery fire.
Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces have launched a comprehensive operation on Afrin against the YPG and they are being backed by Turkish artillery fire. It is likely that Turkish land forces, including tanks will join the operation today.
Early reports suggest that the Kurdish militias are using a tactic of melting into the civilian population rather than defending military positions. This may complicate the Turkish military intervention which runs the risk of being bogged down in a long operation with high civililan casualties.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Turkish tanks preparing to cross into Syria on Saturday evening (20 January). Picture courtesy of Hurriyet Daily News.
European Commissioner Johannes Hahn held discussions with officials from the South Caucasus on the margins of the Munich Security Conference