The pro-Turkey rebel group Legion of the Levant (Faylaq ash-Sham) captured multiple towns southwest of Afrin. Not only does the capture of these villages boost the flanks of the southerly assault force on Afrin, but it also secures a much safer and wider supply corridor to beleaguered Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zinki fighters in western Aleppo governorate. Pro-Turkey rebels also captured three villages to the north of Afrin.
There are reports of pro-government National Defense Forces militias peacefully assuming control of several SDF towns, but this remains unconfirmed. The supposed locations include Tel Rifaat, Menagh, Deir Jemal, Bashmara, and several other villages. Due to the momentousness of this change and lack of any official confirmation of these reports, the change has not yet been shown on the map.
Afrin town is in more danger than ever before, with the only available escape corridor being 7 km (4 mi) wide and the lack of a well-paved road to allow for civilians to escape. Hundreds of civilian cars packed the streets of Afrin city over the past, their owners desperately seeking escape from the coming Turkish advance which they oppose.
By Peter Bucci