YPG forces in Aleppo have deployed to Afrin. File photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish forces have departed Aleppo city, handing the neighbourhoods under their control to the Syrian regime, in order to defend Afrin.
“As YPG and YPJ forces in Aleppo, we have acted with the awareness of our responsibility since the first day of the attacks against Afrin,” commander of the Kurdish force in Aleppo, Firat Khalil, announced in a statement published by ANF media, which has ties to the force.
“Due to the silence of all world powers on the barbaric attacks, all the YPG and YPJ forces in Aleppo went to Afrin and participated in the defense. For this reason, the neighborhoods east of Aleppo have come under the control of regime forces,” he said.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the all-female force (YPJ) had been in control of the mainly Kurdish Sheikh Maqsood area of Aleppo.
The statement from Khalil confirms reports earlier on Thursday that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had entered
Sheikh Maqsood and raised their flag.
Pro-regime forces have also entered the Kurdish canton of Afrin to help the YPG and YPJ defend against a Turkish offensive.
A third convoy of Syrian forces arrived in Afrin on Thursday.
Civilians from eastern areas of the Kurdish self-autonomous region of Rojava in northern Syria have also travelled to Afrin to show their solidarity with the isolated canton.
A convoy traveling from the eastern canton of Jazira and the central one of Euphrates came under Turkish fire on Thursday, “injuring a number of them,” according to Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of foreign affairs for Jazira canton.
It is believed they were bringing food and medicine to Afrin, Reuters photojournalist Rodi Said reported.