Afrin local government evacuates civilians to avoid ‘worse civilian catastrophe’

Update Afrin local government evacuates civilians to avoid ‘worse civilian catastrophe’
Government officials in Afrin have decided to evacuate civilians to avoid a "worse civilian catastrophe." (AFP)
Updated 19 March 2018

Afrin local government evacuates civilians to avoid ‘worse civilian catastrophe’

Afrin local government evacuates civilians to avoid ‘worse civilian catastrophe’

AFRIN, Syria: Government officials in Afrin have decided to evacuate civilians to avoid a "worse civilian catastrophe," the co-chair of the executive council of Afrin region said in a televised statement.
The spokesperson went on to say that the war against Turkish and Turkey-backed forces in Afrin had "entered a new stage."
The administration indicated that Kurdish-dominated forces fighting Turkey-backed groups in the area will shift from direct confrontation to guerrilla tactics.
"Our forces are present all over Afrin's geography. These forces will strike the positions of the Turkish enemy and its mercenaries at every opportunity," Othman Sheikh Issa, co-chair of the Afrin executive council, said in a televised statement.
"Our forces all over Afrin will become a constant nightmare for them."
Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies swept into the northwestern Syrian town of Afrin on Sunday, raising their flags in the town centre and declaring full control after an eight-week campaign to drive out fighters from the Kurdish YPG militia.
Issa said Kurdish fighters had shown "unparalleled steadfastness and resistance" in the fight, but that Kurdish authorities had decided to evacuate civilians from Afrin "to avoid a worse humanitarian catastrophe."