Turkey reconnects FSA-held Idlib with Azaz

    The Turkish Armed Forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Saturday captured seven more residential areas, including the Rajo town center northwest of Afrin, Anadolu's news agency reported.

    According to the agency, the villages of Ramadiyah and Hamelika villages of Jinderes district -- located southwest of Afrin -- Ali Bazan, Qariqin, and Shamanli villages of Sharan district -- located northeast of Afrin -- and Badinli village of Rajo district

    Crescent-shaped corridor

    • West of Afrin: On March 3, the Turkish military announced the capture of Ali Bazan, Qariqin, and Shamanli villages of Sharan district, and the Badinli village of Rajo district.

    • Southwest of Afrin, Ramadiyah and Hamelika villages of the Jinderes district were reportedly also captured.

    • Since February 26, areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces in northern Syria have been reconnected in a crescent-shaped corridor from the northwestern Idlib province and Azaz eastward, Andalou's state-run news agency reported.

    • YPG access: Backed by Turkey, the FSA captured villages northwest of Afrin from the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG), cutting the militia's access to the Syria-Turkey border.

    • Afrin has been a major stronghold for the YPG since July 2012, when the Syrian government left the city to the group without a fight.

    Turkish backing

    • Earlier this year, Turkey launched the "Operation Olive Branch" military operation to remove the YPG from Afrin, close to its borders.

    • As reported on February 26, the Turkish military and the FSA have captured 87 villages from YPG control, including the town of Sheikh Horuz on the road to Afrin - a stronghold of the YPG.

    • Turkey considers the YPG a "terrorist group" with ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is also listed as a "terrorist" organization by the European Union (EU).

    • In February 2016, the connection between Idlib and northern Aleppo was cut after Syrian government forces captured the Aleppo highway, which also goes to Turkey's southeastern Kilis province, and another highway along the towns of Qabasin and Ratyan, north of Aleppo.

    • In a phone call on Monday between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the latest developments in Syria, Erdogan said that "utmost care" is being taken to avoiding harming civilians.

    Could Turkey's offensive in Syria lead to a quagmire?

    Inside Story

    Could Turkey's offensive in Syria lead to a quagmire?

    SOURCE: Anadolu news agency


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months