TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Local sources in the city of Tal Abyaz in Northern Raqqa and along the borders with Turkey reported that the Kurdish forces have pulled down the US flag from the Customs Administration building in the surrounding areas of al-Bavabeh border passage which is one of the most important bastions of the Kurds.
The sources also noted that the Kurdish forces have already pulled down the US flages from other bases and regions under their control, saying that the Kurdish forces' move came in protest to Washington's lack of support for these forces.
In a relevant development on Saturday, the YPG command reported that the Kurdish People's Protection Units repelled another heavy attack of the pro-Turkish militants in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo and managed to kill dozens of invaders.
"Pro-Turkish militants attacked the villages of Ain Daqna and Belule where YPG and YPJ (female division) were lying in wait. Eighty-three militants were killed in a heavy fight," the command said.
The Kurdish forces have published videos that allegedly showed the bodies of the dead Ankara-backed militants. The militia did not disclose their casualties.
The Turkish army and allied rebels from the Free Syrian Army launched an operation codenamed the Olive Branch on Saturday, to crush YPG forces which Ankara accuses of ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a pro-independence group in Turkey.
Since the beginning of the military operation, the Turkish military and Kurdish representatives have been sharing conflicting reports concerning the situation in the region.
The YPG said earlier that no more than 15-20 Kurdish militiamen had been killed, while the Turkish military reported that hundreds of militants had been killed in the campaign.
Reports said on Friday that the Kurdish officials in Afrin has started urging Damascus to send troops to protect the Kurds from the Turkish occupier.
Ankara insists it will return the enclave to its “original owner”, the Damascus government, after its “liberation” from terrorists.
The self-administrated, Kurdish-held enclave in Northern Syria issued a plea for help to the Syrian government on Thursday, reiterating its commitment to the integrity of the country.
“We reaffirm that the Afrin region is an integral part of Syria and that our forces are the people’s protection units,” it wrote in a statement, arguing that the Turkish military operation in Afrin “threatens the territorial integrity of Syria and the security and lives of the civilians.”
While the Kurdish units will continue to repel the Turkish military offensive and resist attempts by the Turkish forces to overrun the city, the central Syrian government must dispatch its own forces to “protect its borders with Turkey from attacks of the Turkish occupier,” the Kurdish authorities suggested as operation “Olive Branch” went into its sixth day.