Turkish occupation of northern Syria

The Turkish Armed Forces and its ally the Syrian National Army have occupied[10][11] areas of northern Syria since August 2016, during the Syrian Civil War. Though these areas nominally acknowledge a government affiliated with the Syrian opposition, they factually constitute a separate proto-state[12] under the dual authority of decentralized native local councils and Turkish military administration.

Turkish occupation zone of northern Syria
The Syrian Independence flag and the Turkish flag; both are widely used in the zone.[1][2][3][4]
CapitalAzaz[5]
Largest cityAfrin
Official languages
GovernmentProvisional Government (dual authority of decentralized local councils and military administration)
 President
Salem al-Meslet
 Prime Minister
Abdurrahman Mustafa
 Minister of Defence
Salim Idris
Self-governance under military occupation
24 August 2016
20 January 2018
9 October 2019
Area
 Total
8,835[7][8][9] km2 (3,411 sq mi)
CurrencySyrian pound, Turkish lira,[2] United States dollar

Turkish-controlled areas of Syria consists of a 8,835-square-kilometre area which encompasses over 1000 settlements, including towns such as Afrin, al-Bab, Azaz, Jarabulus, Jindires, Rajo, Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. The majority of these settlements had been captured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), both of which have been designated as terrorist organisations by the Turkish government, although some towns, including Azaz, were under the control of the Syrian opposition before Turkish intervention. The Syrian Interim Government moved into the Turkish-controlled territories and began to extend partial authority there, including providing documents to Syrian citizens. These areas are referred to as "safe zones" by Turkish authorities.[13] The occupation has led to human rights abuses in some areas, including ethnic cleansing.