What Süleyman Soylu’s Eid al-Adha trip tells us about the Turkey’s security presence in Afrin

On Tuesday July 20th 2021, Turkey’s Minister of the Interior Süleyman Soylu crossed into Syria, briefly visited the Turkish-occupied cities of Afrin and A‘zaz as part of an Eid al-Adha press tour. Coverage published by various Turkish government social media accounts and state media showed Soylu and his entourage inspecting facilities operated by several governmentContinue reading “What Süleyman Soylu’s Eid al-Adha trip tells us about the Turkey’s security presence in Afrin”

On SETA’s Deleted ‘The Syrian National Army’ Report

Bu metin Dünyadan Çeviri tarafından Türkçeye çevrilmiştir. On November 18, Turkish think tank SETA published a report written by research assistant Ömer Özkizilcik titled “The Syrian National Army.” This work was reportedly based on field research and a survey of Syrian National Army (SNA) fighters conducted by the author. After Twitter users highlighted that someContinue reading “On SETA’s Deleted ‘The Syrian National Army’ Report”

SNA mercenaries in Azerbaijan: the Visual Evidence

Bu metin Dünyadan Çeviri tarafından Türkçeye çevrilmiştir. In late September 2020, unconfirmed reports began to circulate on social media alleging that members of the Syrian National Army (SNA), Turkey’s proxy forces in northern Syria, had been sent to Azerbaijan. Initially, as there was no definitive evidence and there appeared little reason for Turkey to sendContinue reading “SNA mercenaries in Azerbaijan: the Visual Evidence”

The Militarization of Jebel Laylun: Turkish Fortifications in Eastern Afrin

originally published on Popularfront.co In an article published on 16 April 2019, Rojava based Hawar News Agency reported on what it called a ‘separation wall’ being constructed along the eastern stretch of the Afrin district. This story was soon picked up by a number of local outlets and activist networks, sparking protests by native inhabitantsContinue reading “The Militarization of Jebel Laylun: Turkish Fortifications in Eastern Afrin”

Murder, Looting, and Displacement: Two Months into Turkey’s Invasion of Eastern Syria

Dubbed “Operation Peace Spring,” Turkey’s most recent intervention into Syria has by now been going on for more than two months. Green-lit by the withdrawal of American troops from the border region, Turkey’s invasion of the country’s northeast seeks to remove Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the area. Over the course of the offensive,Continue reading “Murder, Looting, and Displacement: Two Months into Turkey’s Invasion of Eastern Syria”

Afrin – Turkish-backed groups undertake live ammunition exercises in Iron Age temple

originally published by Syrians for Truth and Justice On 20 September 2019, opposition news outlet “Nedaa’ Syria” published a video[1] highlighting a live-fire training exercise undertaken by a special force’s unit of the National Front for Liberation (NLF). At just under three minutes long, the video shows fighters using small arms, including hand and rocket-propelled grenades,Continue reading “Afrin – Turkish-backed groups undertake live ammunition exercises in Iron Age temple”

Afrin: Incidents Of Desecration And Destruction Of Cultural Sites

originally published on bellingcat.com Soon after the inception of Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in January of 2018, reports began trickling out of Syria’s Afrin district detailing the desecration or destruction of numerous cultural sites in the region. Just two days into the operation, airstrikes inflicted significant damage on Ain Dara, a “Neo-Hittite temple…built by the Arameans inContinue reading “Afrin: Incidents Of Desecration And Destruction Of Cultural Sites”

Remnants Of The Deiri Opposition: Contention And Controversy In North Aleppo

originally published on bellingcat.com Since the onset of its direct intervention in Syria, Turkey has struggled to create stability in northern Aleppo. Writing in mid-2017, Aaron Stein and others attributed this to the Turkish development and support of two conflicting security apparatuses; the newly created local police forces and existent militant opposition, as well as local councilContinue reading “Remnants Of The Deiri Opposition: Contention And Controversy In North Aleppo”

Wrath of the Olives: Tracking the Afrin Insurgency Through Social Media

originally published on bellingcat.com Concluding in late March 2018, Operation Olive Branch resulted in the capture of Kurdish-populated Afrin district of Aleppo by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and allied Free Syrian Army (TFSA) factions. The bulk of Afrin’s YPG and YPJ defenders and over a hundred thousand of its inhabitants fled east to the nearby ShahbaContinue reading “Wrath of the Olives: Tracking the Afrin Insurgency Through Social Media”

Olive Branch Military Outpost Built Atop Afrin Cemetery

originally published on bellingcat.com Since the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and allied Syrian Arab and Turkmen militias concluded “Operation Olive Branch” in Syria in late March of 2018, allegations of human rights abuses have widely circulated on social media. Among these charges is the destruction of graveyards and accompanying shrines throughout Afrin. Videos and photographsContinue reading “Olive Branch Military Outpost Built Atop Afrin Cemetery”