The Turkish troops besiege Afrin on two axes and are about to isolate it from the rest of Syria
Afrin, in the north of Syria, has officially been besieged by the Turkish forces (TAF). The troops of Olive Branch are moving towards the Kurd city from two sides and in the meantime continue bombing the residential area, to break the defense lines of YPG/SDF. The local population, closed in between two fires, is abandoning the area en mass. So on the main routes you can see long queues of civilian vehicles which stretch for kilometers. Meanwhile, Ankara and its allies of the FSA are going on with the ground campaign to get to the city. On the northern axe they have conquered Kubla and the watch tower. On the southern ine, the soldiers have taken Iskan, Zindakan, Qila and Kumush Burj in the area of Jinderes. The militaries are aiming at isolating Afrin, joining the two wings of the operation at Qadi Rayhalah, then after tighten the circle around the enemy. Thereby also cutting out their comunication and supply lines.
The Syrian Republican Guard enters the field to create a security belt around Nabl and Zahra. The YPG/SDF retreat from Rifaat and Menagh. Have they reached an agreement?
In the conflict between Turkey and the Kurds a new element has intervened. Some units of the Syrian Republican Guard have lined up in the south of Afrin to create a security belt around Nabl and Zahra. It seems, although this is not officially confirmed, that the move took place following an agreement with the YPG/SDF. The latter, in return for the help received, would give up control over Tell Rifaat, Menagh and other villages of the NDF. Damascus has several times offered to the Kurdish leadership an agreement in these terms. The Syrian army (SAA) would have guaranteed complete protection, if in exchange the YPG/SDF would give up control of the areas. Up to now, though, the Kurdish forces had always refused. Instead in the last hours, something could have changed, thanks to the advancing of Olive Branch, which is by now at a few kilometers from Afrin and in view of the city.