Protesters in Euphrates Shield-held northern Aleppo demand military action against Afrin

Aleppo - On Thursday, journalists in 'Azaz and Jarabulus put out a call for citizens living in areas held by the Turkish-led Euphrates Shield to counter the Wednesday protest against Turkish military intervention in Afrin itself, held a few days ago. On Friday, heeding said call, civilians and fighters alike took to the streets of 'Azaz, Jarabulus, al-Bab, and Akhtarin, demanding Turkey to finally take action against the YPG in Afrin Canton.

In the city of Jarabulus, the first city captured from ISIS by Euphrates Shield, the protest mainly focused on the generality of taking action in order to counter recent alleged YPG provocations from Afrin Canton against opposition-held northern Aleppo. In addition, FSA rebels had an active presence in the protests, waving guns and yelling supportive chants.

In 'Azaz and al-Bab, the latter city being the last city thus far captured from IS by Euphrates Shield after a long bloody fight, the protests were more focused on taking back territory that had been captured in the SDF/SAA's military offensive against the rebels in February 2016, and had since been reorganized into the newly formed "Shahba Region". Fighters in these cities took a more measured approach to the demonstration, primarily acting as security on the sidelines of the marching protesters.

In recent weeks and especially in recent days, there has been an escalation in media narratives and statements by officials against the Afrin Canton and rumors of a possible upcoming offensive on several areas near the opposition-held areas, namely around the village of Tal Rif'at. It is for now unsure if either the YPG or Turkey will act on this military uptick. The Russian military has presence located near the city of Afrin and additional personnel has been deployed there recently in response to the recent tension.