Afrin is located in the province of Aleppo and belongs to the de facto autonomous region of Rojava, proclaimed by the Kurds in the north of Syria. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish associations to be a wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) banned in the country. In May, Turkish agency Anadolu reported that new military operations were being prepared against the Kurds.

“The Turkish army gathered in large numbers in these areas, preparing to attack Afrin, Tell Rifaat and Shaikh Isa, which have been under control of the Kurds since last year,” the Kurdish representative said.

According to him, the military moved to the vicinity of Afrin from the city of Al Bab, liberated by the Turkish military and Syrian opposition in 2016 from Daesh terrorist group (outlawed in Russia).

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