BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:13 P.M.) – The Turkish Army and allied Free Syrian Army-linked militias have scored a worthy advance against Kurdish forces in Syria’s Afrin region after a two-day back and forth battle for a key mountain and its nearby villages.

According to rebel sources, Free Syrian Army fighters – backed up by fire support and armor from Turkish forces – have seized the mountainous area of Sheikh Kharuz and the villages of Kharuz Fouqani, Kharuz Wastani and Kharuz Tahtani which surround it in northern Afrin.

The advance was made after a 48-hour swinging battle for the area during which time pro-Ankara forces endured inconveniently high losses in manpower and equipment and even claimed a fake chemical attack by Kurdish artillery on their positions (typical of Free Syrian Army factions when important battles do not go as expected).

On Tuesday, Kurdish forces launched a counter-attack to completely push pro-Turkey militias off the mountain, not only succeeding in doing this but also killing about a dozen Islamist fighters and capturing two armored vehicles in the process.

However, the last several hours has nonetheless witnessed Kurdish fighters pull-back from their positions on Sheikh Kharuz and hand over control of it and its nearby settlements to Turkey-led forces.

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Karel Vd Geest

I believe this when I see confirming reports.

Otherwise, imo just turkish state propaganda, as in outright lying.

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Stern Daler

Not only propaganda. But also different results at different times. IMHO. Though I share Your view that we must treat FSA and Turkish reports with a grain of salt. Turkish Erdogan is in election campaign mode! And the FSA has been winning all battles for years – blink. That is why they had to become mercs of the Turks. The Turkish mercenaries enjoy air and artillery support and advance by day. The Kurds have considerable fighting experience and local knowledge and reverse the gains often by night. We will see tomorrow. Whether the Turkish mercenaries were able to consolidate and… Read more »