Kurds vow to continue resisting occupation of key city
March 18, 2018
The biggest gain so far in the two months since Turkey invaded northern Syria, the Turkish military has reported capturing the city of Afrin. Kurdish civilians are fleeing the city en masse, as Turkish forces tore down the statue depicting a legendary Kurdish figure.
This effectively caps off the invasion of the Afrin District, as Turkey had seized other major population centers in the district already. Kurdish YPG officials were not giving up, however, vowing guerilla resistance to the Turkish occupation.
Turkish President Erdogan talked up the victory, and claimed most of the Kurdish “terrorists” had actually fled the invasion. While Turkey will be facing an insurgency around Afrin District in the future, the big question is what happens next.
Erdogan has long insisted that Manbij is next. Invading Manbij would be complicated because the Kurdish-held city has US troops embedded within. There are reports Turkey and the US may make a deal on Manbij to avoid fighting, though no specific pact has been reached yet.
Turkey is also facing internal resistance from opposition groups, who are calling for them to withdraw the military from Afrin following the victory.