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Hundreds of families flee Syrian town of Afrin - Observatory

Turkish forces and allied Syrian militias are targeting Afrin in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia in north-western Syria.

Turkish-backed fighters from the Free Syrian Army stand in the Tal Malid area, north of Aleppo, as they fire towards Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) positions in the village of Um al-Hosh, in the area of Afrin, on 20 January 2018. Picture: AFP.

BEIRUT – Hundreds of families fled the Syrian town of Afrin towards nearby villages held by pro-Syrian government forces overnight as Turkish forces shelled the town, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Turkish forces and allied Syrian militias are targeting Afrin in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia in north-western Syria.

The Observatory said families left the town in buses and cars towards Nubl and al-Zahra, Shi’ite Muslim villages that are loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian government has sided with the YPG against Turkey in Afrin.