Photo credit: AFP/ Nazeer al-Khatib

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:58 A.M.) – On Saturday morning, the Turkish Army and Syrian proxy militias under its command kicked-off their assault to capture the stronghold town of Raju in Syria’s Afrin region from Kurdish forces.

Backed up by airpower and artillery, Turkey-led forces – already stationed at the gates of Raju for several days now – quickly breached the town’s defenses and seized it within an hour.

It has become apparent that Kurdish paramilitary fighters did not even attempt to mount a defense of Raju, effectively abandoning it to the Turkish Army and its allies.

Now reports are emerging that pro-Ankara forces are preparing to storm another Kurdish stronghold south of Raju – the town of Jandaris.

Here Turkish forces have begun to outflank the town from the southern direction, so far capturing the nearby settlements of Ramadiye and Hamilek.

Overall it has become apparent that Ankara will continue its Olive Branch operation further into the depth of Syria’s Afrin region (particularly from the western direction) to further isolate Kurdish forces from the Turkish border.

Updates to follow.

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2018-03-03 14:38

This reminds me of Al Bab, reported by Turks as captured several times, each time they had not.

As both ANF and SOHR deny Turkey taking the town, I stick to the notion Turkey did not take it.

We will see later today or tomorrow.