Smoke from Turkish artillery fire in Afrin on Tuesday. Photo: George Ourfalian/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies have been heavily bombing Afrin canton since early Saturday morning, killing a number of pro-Syrian government forces and destroying a drinking water tank.
The Turkish army has been shelling Rajo district in northwestern Afrin and have killed a number pro-Syrian government fighters and injured others, YPG-linked media ANHA news reported.
Jandaris, in southwestern Afrin, has also been under heavy rocket and artillery fire on Saturday, according to the same outlet.
Clashes have been ongoing in Jandaris since early morning, confirmed Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of foreign affairs for Rojava's Jazira canton.
An airstrike hit the water tank in the town and destroyed it completely, ANHA reported, adding that civilian property has been heavily damaged.
Turkey has escalated its bombardments on Afrin from the air and the land, as its forces and Syrian proxies gain ground, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated on Saturday, noting that the number of casualties was rising.
Turkish forces and their allied Syrian militias took control of two more villages in the Jandaris area on Saturday, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, naming the villages as Abu Kab and Hajilar.
A four-year-old boy, Ibrahim Rasho, was killed in shelling on Saturday, according to multiple reports out of Rojava. His five-year-old brother Hussein was injured. They were originally from the Jandaris area, but had been displaced by fighting to the central Mabeta district, ANHA reported.
Since Turkey launched its Operation Olive Branch on January 20, 129 civilians have been killed, including 24 children and 19 women, according to the Observatory, a UK-based conflict monitor.
Turkey has denied all reports of civilian casualties.
The Observatory has also documented 256 deaths among the Olive Branch forces, including 40 Turkish soldiers, and 239 deaths among the YPG ranks and self-defence forces of Afrin.
Updated at 3:20 pm