ANF spoke with a YPG fighter in the hills of the Bilika village in the Rajo district about how the invasion attempt by the Turkish army and their accompanying ISIS and Al-Nusra gangs looks from the battle field.
Every moment in the Afrin resistance is of historic importance. In the Resistance of the Age that has continued for over a month, the whole truth is still not reflected. It is truly important what the YPG and YPJ figthters who have been clashing on the fronts for weeks experienced. My luck was good and I stayed with a group of YPG members who were in the most important frontline in the Rajo district and its vicinity in the first days of the invasion operation. What they say was very important. I told them I wanted to write about it. They smiled, and I started to write as they told their story.
ANF spoke with a YPG fighter on the hills around the Bilika village of the Rajo district about how the invasion attempt by the Turkish army and their accompanying ISIS and Al-Nusra gangs look from the battle field.
HOW DID 5 YPG MEMBERS PUSH BACK AN ARMY?
The YPG fighter is called Azad. He is 24 years old. They were 5 YPG members, going against dozens of soldiers and gang members. I asked him how the Turkish army and their gangs acted in the battle field. “It was the days after February 15. We were on a hill around Bilika on February 17. There was five of us. We dispersed to different points on the hill. The Turkish army attacked the hill, they first started bombing with Howitzers. There were some 15 Howitzer shots per hour. These attacks continued through the day, and then the bombing lasted for two days straight. After the Howitzers, fighter jets continued the bombing. Jets fired 9 boilers and 4 rockets on a tiny hill. With bad weather coming in, the Turkish army and their gangs carried out land attacks on the hill.”
Some 30-35 soldiers rode on to the hill where 5 YPG fighters are positioned with 2 Toyota vehicles with DHSKs and A4s mounted on them. At the time, the 5 YPG members had Kalashnikovs, BKC guns and B7 rocket launchers, and hand grenades. They saw that the soldiers on the move around the hill were trying to advance to the hill with chants of “Allahu Akbar”, like ISIS gangs. The fighters took positions. The soldiers moved in on 3 branches. YPG fighters saw the soldiers shoot randomly while chanting “Allahu Akbar”, and they waited patiently for the soldiers and the gang members to get very close. When they did, the 5 YPG members opened fire on the soldiers randomly shooting with BKCs and the B7 rocket launchers. The chanting soldiers received a heavy hit. YPG’s Azad said there were many casualties among soldiers, and he personally saw four wounded. The four wounded soldiers were dragged into a military vehicle. Those on the other wings panicked. YPG fighters did not leave the hill. Azad said the soldiers were advancing towards the hill, dispersed like sheep, and they abandoned their equipment that weighed them down and fled back when they saw the harsh response. Out of the five YPG members, only one was wounded, on his arm. YPG members hold their position on the hill after the attack by dozens of soldiers. The soldiers meant to take the hill and position a tank there, but they had to carry their casualties and withdraw from the area despite their preparations. With support from Howitzers, fighter jets and UAVs, dozens of soldiers failed against a 5-person YPG unit defending a hill.
I asked if the YPG members spoke among themselves at the time of the clash, and what they talked about if they did. He said they monitored the military activity and told each other what they would do, in low voices. I asked what he felt at the time: “In that moment, we had to keep our cool. We were thinking of protecting ourselves and our friends, and of defending the hill. I told the comrades to stay calm. We had shocked the incoming soldiers and gang members with the sudden strike. When those soldiers and gang members chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ turned right around and fled, we had so much fun. We were smiling. Then a group of our comrades arrived as back up, and the soldiers-gang members had many casualties after that.”
THE “MEHMETCIK” ABANDONED 2 SOLDIERS’ BODIES IN THE MUD AND RAN
28 years old YPG fighter Xelil gave another example from the Afrin front. Xelil is also on the Rajo front, and he has participated in the intense clashes of the first 10 days in particular. It was the 6th day of the resistance against the invasion operation, the Turkish army and their gangs tried to enter the Qude village and managed to enter one of the positions. The Turkish army forces who couldn’t enter the hill near the village were encountered on the hill. When the Turkish army noticed the YPG members, intense clashes broke out. YPG members pulled back a little so they could have success in the action they were planning, then took action to implement their plan. Two soldiers died when the YPG fighters who infiltrated the first clash zone opened fire. Some others were wounded. There was great panic among them. The soldiers abandoned their weapons, backpacks, ammunition, equipment, bomb launchers, LAWs and two bodies in the mud. YPG fighters removed the two soldiers’ bodies from the mud and sent them to the Rajo district on a tractor. The equipment the fleeing soldiers left behind filled another 2 tractors.
I asked Xelil about the details of the clashes: “I saw the bodies of two soldiers. During the clash we were very close. There were just a few meters between us, maybe less. It was foggy and raining. The soldiers fleeing in panic had stopped and used first aid kits in four places. In three places there were soldiers’ equipment of the same type in three places. One of them was different. It could have been a commander’s, because there was a radio with it. We picked up the abandoned weapons and ammunition.”
YPG’s Xelil smiled and said: “The soldiers were carrying so much stuff. They left the things and fled. We filled 2 tractor loads with the equipment they left.”
ASO FROM YPG TELLS A STORY
When the Turkish soldiers looted houses in Elbiske and Canika villages, YPG member Aso was in the resistance in the vicinity of Elbiske village in Rajo against the invasion attempt. It was the 10th day in the resistance. The Turkish soldiers had entered the Elbiske village with a digger, 3 tanks and 3 DHSK laden vehicles and damaged the village. Several houses had been demolished and burned. The invading soldiers and gangs had looted the village houses. A group of YPG fighters climbed up a hill around the Elbiske village. The soldiers were attempting to go looting in the Canika village, close to Elbiske. They got close to the village with one DHSK laden vehicle and one BMB type armored personnel carrier. YPG fighters opened fire on the soldiers and gang members. At first fire, the soldiers abandoned their vehicles and ammunition. Then they came back to get the armored vehicles with back up units. This time, YPG fighters attacked with heavy weapons. The gang members and soldiers withdrew to the Elbiske village. YPG and YPJ fighters didn’t leave them alone in Elbiske either, and destroyed a Leopard tank in motion. YPG fighters then targeted the invaders with mortars. 8 mortars hit the target. The Turkish army, trapped, launched an attack with tanks. When the tanks failed, they bombed the area with fighter jets. But that bombing was a failure as well, because the YPG fighters had hidden themselves well.