The Syrian Army has joined the battle in Afrin against the Turkish military. According to the Kurdish forces in the area, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army is fulfilling its duty to “defend the unity of the Syrian people.”

Support for Bashar al-Assad

Support for Bashar al-Assad Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash 90

Arab media outlets are reporting that the Syrian Army is in Afrin and fighting alongside the Kurdish forces against Turkish soldiers. According to reports, a Syrian Army convoy came under Turkish artillery fire once it entered the area.

Syrian government supporters and Kurds posted pictures of troops and militants entering the war-zone while waving Syrian flags. “The Syrian Army has responded to its duty and sent military forces to defend the unity of the Syrian people,” the Kurdish forces said in an official statement.

Earlier today, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a blank “statement” on the Syrian crisis to express its anger over the deadly airstrikes carried out by the Syrian regime in the eastern Ghouta area. At least 20 children were killed in the airstrikes, which claimed the lives of over 100 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

UNICEF’s regional director for the region Geert Cappelaere was quoted at the beginning of the symbolic press release: “No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathersand their loved ones.”

The quote was followed by 10 lines of quotation marks, indicating the lack of text, and then a footnote. “UNICEF is issuing this blank statement,” the footnote explained. “We no longer have the words to describe children’s suffering and our outrage. Do those inflicting the suffering still have words to justify their barbaric acts?”