Kurdish Forces Repel Turkish Ground Offensive in Afrin, Reports Say

Turkey kicked off a ground offensive against Kurdish forces near Afrin, in Syria’s Aleppo province, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on January 20.

On the same day, Kurdish media reported that Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) repelled a ground offensive carried out by Turkish forces from Balbala town, in the countryside north of Afrin.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Turkish army and Kurdish forces exchanged shelling near Afrin.

This video was shared by a Kurdish outlet from the area and is described as showing the YPG pushing back a Turkish offensive. Gunfire can be heard as the camera faces towards a hilltop base, which is flying a Turkish flag, but troop movements cannot be seen.

Tension at the Syrian-Turkish border increased after Turkey said it was readying for an assault against Kurdish forces in northern Syria. Those same Kurdish militias have the backing of the US, but Turkey considers them extensions of domestic Kurdish rebel groups it deems to be terrorist organizations. Credit: ANHA via Storyful