On January 20, Turkey announced the beginning of Operation Olive Branch against the Kurdish forces in Syria’s northwestern Afrin district. Ankara considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria, and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia affiliates of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara. Damascus has expressed its opposition to the Turkish operation, saying that such actions violated Syrian sovereignty.
Speaking about the Turkish operation, Garib Huso, co-chair of the public relations committee of the so-called Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, stressed that the district was demonstrating a high level of resistance.
“Despite the power and military equipment that Turkey has, it is already 40 days that the Kurds and YPG do not give up, continue fighting and do not let the Turkish forces to advance to the center. Afrin is now demonstrating a great resistance. Yugoslavia could withstand only several days against NATO. Same military equipment is now being used against the Kurds in Afrin,” Huso said.
According to a Sputnik’s source in Kurdish security, over 180 civilians have fallen victims of Turkey’s military operation in Afrin, while over 550 have been injured.
“For Turkey, Afrin is just a small village. Still, it couldn’t complete its operation until now… The spirit of resistance in Afrin now is similar to what it was in Kobane,” he stated.
Husa and his family are Yazidis. They live in Afrin and are considered by both Daesh (terrorist group, outlawed in Russia) and Turkey “unbelievers.” He fears for his family and laments that the society where various ethnicities and confessions used to co-exist in peace is now on the verge of falling apart.
“Before this attack, all nationalities and confessions lived peacefully together in Afrin. Once destroyed, a building can be restored, but the society cannot. Nothing remains for us but to fight and to resist until the end. We have no choice, even if we have to confront such a powerful NATO member,” Husa said.
Speaking as a representative of Yazidi Kurdish religious minority, which combines elements of Zoroastrianism, Islam, and Christianity, he said that they feared of persecution and forced conversion to Islam by the Turkish forces, adding that many Yazidis around Afrin had already left their villages.