Turkey to strike 149 PKK/PYD positions in Syria’s Afrin
Seventy-one fixed and mobile targets identified in close vicinity to Turkey, Idlib and the Euphrates Shield regions, among a total of 149 targets that will be struck from the air and the artillery stationed along the border
News ServiceYeni Şafak
After carrying out preparations for its upcoming operation in Syria’s Afrin since October, Turkey is set to strike 149 targets in the northwestern region, as terrorists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)’s Syrian offshoot, the PYD, dig trenches in fear of Turkey’s operation.
Afrin monitored for past 45 days
The Afrin operation was delayed three times during 2017 after failing to obtain positive results through diplomatic channels, despite Turkey having completed all technical preparations for the campaign.
The latest developments in Afrin were being monitored carefully for the last 45 days through a special operation center after intelligence from the ground and aerial footage was obtained.
Preparations since October
Eyes have now turned to the region following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks on the imminent Afrin and Manbij operations, which will target the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization.
“The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) will solve the Afrin and Manbij issue. Our preparations are complete. The operation may start at any moment,” Erdoğan said on Monday.
The TAF has since October dispatched various military units, including Turkey’s elite forces, to the border region with Syria, completely encircling Afrin from the east, west and north.
Even though the PKK/PYD is encircled from three directions, an exit remains for the terrorists in the southeast to escape through regime-controlled areas.
First attack will be launched from air
Following the recent rapprochement with Russia after the latest diplomatic meetings, the first wave of attacks will be conducted from the air after PKK/PYD terrorists’ mobile and fixed positions are identified, according to diplomatic and military sources.
The aerial operations are expected to last over six days as the preparations carried out since October through aerial and local elements that have helped identify 71 fixed and mobile targets in close vicinity to Turkey, Idlib and the Euphrates Shield regions, among a total of 149 targets that will be struck from the air and the artillery stationed along the border.
Second attack will be from land
The second wave of attacks will be launched from the Euphrates Shield region and the Idlib front due to their terrain suitability, and in accordance with the intensity of the clashes, artillery shells will be fired at targets from across the border.
According to military sources, support will be summoned from along the Turkish border after the operation from the east and west is carried out.
According to sources in Afrin, PKK/PYD terrorists have dug trenches both inside Afrin’s city center and in the outer regions that are made up of nine regions, as they have done before in the eastern and southwestern districts, while planning on turning the confrontation in Afrin into a guerilla-warfare style showdown depending on the intensity of the clashes.
It is also said that the terror organization’s military officials will summon battle-hardened terrorists, who took part in guerilla-warfare, from the eastern and southeastern districts to counter this campaign.
‘Hawk’ batteries encircle Afrin
A total of 12 Hawk Battery Commands, with a range of 40 kilometers, were deployed to Hatay’s Kırıkhan city bordering Afrin.
According to information obtained by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), barrels of the Hawks batteries, which are loaded with a large number of missiles, are locking in on the Afrin regions of Qoudeh, Maamal Oushagi and Sateh.
Deployment at the border
Deployment of military units to the border in Hatay prior to the Afrin operation is ongoing.
A total of 10 trucks loaded with tanks including armored personnel carriers were dispatched to the Narlıca Border Battalion from the 5th Gaziantep Armored Brigade.
On Saturday, Turkish Armed Forces (TAF)’s artillery units, which are located in Reyhanlı, Hassa and Kırıkhan, fired 40 shells against the Afrin’s PKK/PYD-occupied regions of Basufan, Mamelan, Jindere, Meskenli and Rajo.
Sounds of heavy shelling were heard several times on Monday near the border gate with Syria.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict.