The Turkish military supported by some Syrian rebel groups is currently involved in a major operation against renegade fighters accused of criminal conduct throughout opposition-held parts northwest Syria.
On Saturday, Turkish military forces and allied rebel groups in northern Syria commenced a crackdown in the city of Afrin against rouge rebel elements involved in looting, prostitution, drug trading and kidnapping.
At first dozens of rebel fighters suspected of involvement in such activates were quietly arrested without little confrontation, however, as of Sunday, the “security” operation now appears to be turning into a major showdown.
In the centre of Afrin city, Turkish troops along with rebel fighters of the Al-Hamza Division are clashing with renegade opposition elements that reportedly belong to the Asoud Al-Sharqieh (Eastern Lions) group.
Afrin is on lockdown by the Turkish military for the time being with all roads leading into the small city having been cut. Although no confirmed numbers exist, there are reports of casualties.
Afrin city and the countryside around it fell under the control of the Turkish military and Ankara-backed rebel groups in late March of this year after a joint operation saw Kurdish YPG forces driven from the area.