Operation Olive Branch: Slow Progress for Turkey

Following a pause in the fighting in Syria’s Affrin region due to bad weather conditions, Turkish forces and their allies have continued offensive operations. So far, only limited areas of Affrin have come under their control. Turkey appears to be limiting its direct involvement on the ground, and while heavy Turkish equipment such as tanks are seen in some key locations, the Free Syrian Army rebels are conducting most of the ground fighting. 

As Turkey trades time and space for its limited exposure, the Kurdish YPG fighters have been able to cause some damage to the assaulting forces as well. Heavy pressure from Turkish airstrikes and artillery fire is still keeping these forces on the back foot, however.

Initial counterattacks by YPG forces have not been sustained. After a break due to heavy rains and dense fog, the Free Syrian Army has renewed efforts and has not encountered Kurdish opposition that could threaten the eventual achievement of their objectives.