President Erdogan of Turkey had hoped that Turkish forces would completely encircle Afrin, a city in northern Syria (circled in blue on the map), by nightfall yesterday (Wednesday). Speaking from Ankara on Wednesday, he said, “3,444 neutralized terrorists. And we also got a little closer to Afrin, and, if God’s willing, Afrin would fall by tonight.”

Residents of Afrin were seen with luggage on the city’s streets on Wednesday, after reports said Turkish forces had shelled the city centre. Grey smoke was seen rising above the city into the sky.

Media reports say an increasing number of residents are escaping the city, as the Turkish military and the Free Syrian Army continue their efforts to encircle the centre of Afrin.

If you don’t understand exactly what is happening in Syria and why it has been a war zone for the past few years, it’s OK – nobody really does. The distress Syria finds itself in now is the result of different international groups wanting a chunk of Syria for themselves. Syria could best be described as a piece of meat being fought over by a wake of vultures.

Image: Google Earth