BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:43 P.M.) – Syrian pro-government forces have commenced their long awaited intervention into the country’s Afrin region as part of an operation to support local Kurdish fighters in their battle against the Turkish Army and pro-Ankara militias under its command.
Moments ago, confirmation came through that armor, vehicles and troops of the National Defence Forces (Damascus-led forces closely linked to the Syrian Army) entered into Afrin at the Al-Zearah crossing point in support of local Kurdish fighters.
It is yet to be seen if the Damascus’ intervention forces serves to discourage the Turkish Army from further attacks against Kurdish paras in Afrin or if it actually escalates hostilities across the region.
At the present time, Turkish Army artillery has actually started shelling the entry point where pro-government forces are entering into Afrin.
According the Al-Masdar News journalist Ibrahim Joudeh, the shelling is not directly targeting government troops, only landing near their advance line, most likely as an attempt to scare off the intervention forces.
Updates to follow.