Turkish artillery targets villages in Syria’s Aleppo

ALEPPO, Syria (North Press) – Turkish forces and Turkish-backed Syrian opposition factions shelled on Tuesday villages in northern countryside of Aleppo governorate, causing material damage.

Local sources told North Press that the Turkish forces from their military base in Tel Malid south of the town of Mare’ targeted the outskirts of the villages of Harbel and Maarat Umm Hawsh with three shells.

The Turkish artillery targeted on Monday the villages of al-Malikiyah and Mara’naz, in Sharan district in Afrin countryside, northern Syria with several shells, causing damage to residents’ homes, according to a military source.

On Friday, the Turkish forces and the affiliated factions (also known as the Syrian National Army, SNA) targeted the village of Umm al-Qora with two artillery shells, wounding the Afrini IDP Younes Mustafa Dawood in addition to causing destruction to his house and car, a local source said.

On May 23, Erdogan announced taking steps to complete the so-called remained portions of the “safe zone” plan along Turkey’s southern border saying, “We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30 km deep safe zone we established along our southern border.” 

The Turkish “safe zone” is an area of 30-35 km (19-22 miles) deep into Syrian territory that Turkey started establishing in 2019 to house Syrian refugees in an area along its border with Syria, as well as to keep it free from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which it regards as terrorists.

On May 25, Turkey’s National Security Council said that Turkey’s “existing and future military operations along its southern borders were necessary for the country’s security.” In the meeting, Erdogan delivered a speech to the MPs of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and said, “Turkish military would continue to rid its neighbour of terrorists” refers to the SDF.

On June 1, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his threats of launching a military operation on northern Syria, and specified his targets in the two Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat, which include many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Reporting by Faya Milad