Withdrawal about 10 km away from city center comes after warning shots

Pro-regime groups, who tried to enter Syria’s Afrin to support YPG/PKK-Daesh against Turkey’s ongoing operation in the region, have withdrawn Tuesday before reaching the city following warning shots, according to reliable sources on the ground.

The pro-regime groups departed in the Nubl-al-Zahraa region, in southern Afrin, at around 5.00 p.m. (1400GMT) with the aim of supporting YPG/PKK-Daesh terror groups against Operation Olive Branch, said the source on condition of anonymity due to speaking to the media. 

The militias tried to advance into the city with a convoy of 20 vehicles including armored vehicles with DShK heavy machine guns.

The withdrawal of the pro-Bashar al-Assad terror groups upon warning shot came when they were about 10 km (about 6 miles) away from Afrin, in northwestern Syria.  

As the convoy moved ahead, artillery fire was used as a warning but did not hit any vehicles.

The movements of terrorist groups in Aleppo’s other regions towards Afrin are being monitored, the sources added.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin. 

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from oppression and cruelty of terrorists.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said only terror targets were being destroyed and that "utmost care" was being taken to not harm civilians.