On January 20th, 2018, the Turkish Armed Forces, along with allied Syrian militias, launched an unprovoked assault on Afrin. For 57 days, they bombed civilian neighborhoods, critical infrastructure, and internationally protected sites like hospitals and historic monuments, destroying the once-peaceful region and causing a massive humanitarian crisis. On March 18th, 2018, invading forces reached the center of Afrin City, taking full control of the region.

Between January 20th and March 18th…

  • 564 civilians were killed.
  • Over 200,000 civilians were forced to flee their homes.
  • The 3,000-year-old Hittite temple of Ain Dara was bombed and destroyed.
  • 31 of Afrin’s 318 schools were bombed.
  • Afrin’s only functioning hospital was targeted.
  • The Meydanke Dam, along with several water stations, was bombed, cutting off access to clean drinking water.

Invasion Timeline

Key political, military, and humanitarian developments as they happened.

Ethnic Cleansing

Turkish leaders explicitly stated that their intent in attacking Afrin was to change its demographic composition by displacing its original population— a crime for which military and political leaders have been prosecuted in the past.