BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:40 A.M.) – The city of Afrin received a mass exodus of villagers from the nearby Jandaris region as they fled the advancement of Turkish forces and bombardment of their homes on Saturday. Turkish forces seized a number of sites at the Jandaris axis over the past week, according to local media.
Villagers can be seen arriving in all sorts of vehicles from cars to trucks to tractors, piled high with their belongings as they enter the city of Afrin.
One of those fleeing, Mohammed explained: “we have escaped from the village of Jumana, we are being bombed at random, the planes are always above the sky, we are all fleeing”.
Another fleeing villager named the Turkish President: “Erdogan and the Free Army are bombing us, they have demolished our homes” while another stated bluntly “his goal is to exterminate the Kurdish people”.
The Turkish military started launching airstrikes and rockets on Kurdish positions in Afrin shortly after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the launch of the military operation dubbed ‘Olive Branch.’ The Turkish President also declared that the next destination for Turkish forces would be Syria’s Manbij.
Turkey views the YPG, which is active in northern Syria, as an extension of the banned militant group Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).