Syrian Kurds attend an impromptu parade in Afrin as civilians enlist to fight an assault by Turkish troops and allied rebels. AFP / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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Afrin locals mobilize to defend town against TurksAmmunition belts slung over their shoulders, voices cracking from the chanting, dozens of young Syrian Kurds amassed in Afrin's town square to enlist in the "resistance" movement against a Turkish-backed assault. The first-year journalism student at Afrin University decided last month to leave her studies behind and respond to a call to arms by local Kurdish authorities.Town officials called for a "mass mobilization" of civilians to fight an assault by Turkish troops and allied rebels on the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin.Turkey and allied Syrian rebels began their cross-border assault on the Afrin region on Jan. 20, and most of the fighting has been concentrated along the mountainous frontier.Under that system, people between the ages of 18 and 32 must spend one year in military conscription, says the YPG's spokesman in Afrin, Birusk Hasakeh.
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