Pro-government forces were reportedly targeted in an air raid by the Turkish Air Force in the town of Kafr Zita, near Afrin, Saturday. Thirty-six people are reported to have died in the attack. The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led alliance, has confirmed that there was a Turkish air strike on Syrian militias in the early hours of Saturday but provided no further details.
Footage shows buildings reduced to rubble, as well as destroyed vehicles, and blood smeared on the ground. Some of those targeted were reportedly stationed in a former Russian military observation post.
The reported bombing follows a recent agreement between forces loyal to the Syrian government and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), to help in the defense of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin against the ongoing Turkish offensive, known as ‘Operation Olive Branch.’
Ankara has warned of a serious military response if Syrian government forces arrive in the region.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to “lay siege to Afrin city” during a recent address in parliament. In January, Erdogan announced the beginning of the operation against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Turkey views the YPG, which is active in northern Syria, as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) group