NE Syria witnesses bloody week under fierce Turkish escalation

TEL TAMR, Syria (North Press) – In the last week of July, two civilians lost their lives and about 15 others were wounded in different areas in northeast Syria after Turkish forces and their affiliated armed Syrian opposition factions escalated their shelling.

Statistics monitored by North Press revealed that more than 400 Turkish shells targeted inhabitant villages on contact lines near border in the northern countryside of Hasakah and Raqqa.

The Turkish escalation followed trilateral summit in the Iranian capital Tehran that brought presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey together on July 19.

Unabated shelling

On July 22, a Turkish drone targeted a post of the Syrian government forces with two missiles in the village of Zor Maghar in the western countryside of Kobani, north Syria.

The attack reported material losses but no human losses.

The next day, Turkish artillery targeted with dozens of shells villages in the countryside of the town of Tel Tamr, leaving material losses in residents’ possessions.

As a result of the shelling, Tel Tamer power transformer plant went out of service.

Khabour Guards forces (Assyrian military forces affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)  announced the wounding of three of its fighters due to the Turkish shelling of the villages of Tel Tamr and caused material damage to residents’ possessions.

On July 20, the Turkish forces hit about 20 villages in the countryside of both towns of Tel Tamr and Zirgan (Abu Rasin) with artillery and missiles.

The shelling lasted for several hours.

As a result, a civilian and a government soldier were killed and ten others, including children and elderly, were wounded.

On July 24, a military source told North Press that Russian warplanes targeted the Turkish-backed factions, also known as Syrian National Army (SNA), in villages of al-Mahmoudi, Tel Muhammad and Tel Alo, north of Tel Tamr town, which are the contact lines between the SNA factions and Syrian government forces.

There were no reports about the damage caused by the bombardment.

On July 25, the Turkish artillery targeted Assyrian villages in Tel Tamr including Tel Tawil and Tel Jum’a north and west of the town.

At the same time, the Turkish artillery targeted the villages of al-Asadiya, al-Khadrawi, Tel Hermel, Khirbet al-Sha’ir, and Tel al-Ward in Zirgan, according to an eyewitness.

Angry reactions

Despite increasing recent Turkish violations of ceasefire agreement signed in 2019, Turkish officials continue to threat to launch a military operation against areas in northeast Syria any time.

Following the Turkish incursion in October 2019, Turkey signed two ceasefire agreements, one with Russia and the other with the US stipulating ceasing all hostilities and the withdrawal of the SDF 32 km away from the Turkish border.

The agreements stipulate halt of all hostilities there and the withdrawal of the SDF 30 km in depth away from the Turkish border in addition to conducting Turkish-Russian joint patrols in order to monitor the implementation of the agreements.

The SDF did withdrew from the border areas according to the agreement.

On July 24, the SDF Commander in Chief tweeted on his official account said, “Partners must make greater efforts to stop violations.”

Abdi’s tweet followed an attack by a Turkish drone, claiming lives of three SDF female leaders in the city of Qamishli, northeast Syria.

“Turkey’s targeting them undermines war against ISIS,” Abdi added.

Lately, Turkey has escalated its attacks on areas in north and northeast Syria, using artillery and drones following Tehran Summit, in which Turkey failed to obtain a green light by Iran and Russia to invade the region.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently announced plans to carry out another major military cross-border incursion into northern Syria. Erdogan specified his targets in the two northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat.

On July 1, Erdogan said that Ankara’s new military operation in northern Syria could begin at any moment.

“The time has come to clear these lands from the terrorist organizations,” Erdogan threatened during Tehran Summit.

On July 28, Abdi released a new tweet saying, “Drones’ attacks have increased and started to target NE Syria’s community and its institutions working on the region’s stability.”

He also disclosed that since July 20, the death toll of Turkish drone attacks has mounted to “9 SDF fighters, 4 ISF members, and 13 civilians.”

Residents of the town of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa, took to street on July 24 in front a Russian base, condemning increasing Turkish attacks and the Russian silence regarding them.

The protesters condemned the Russian silence, as Russia is a guarantor for the ceasefire agreement. They also expressed their rejection of the presence of Russian forces in the region since they could not stop the Turkish violations.

A day later, feminist organizations in the city of Hasakah staged a protest in front of an American base in the area, calling on the US and the US-led Global Coalition to stop the Turkish attacks.

On July 26, residents of Kobani and its countryside protested in front of a Russian base near the town of Sirrin south of Kobani against the Turkish increasing attacks.

On the same day, representatives of local communities and tribal events in Hasakah and its countryside, northeast Syria, said, in a statement, that Turkey does not comply with international administration, as it works to revive the ISIS.

“The international community did not honor its commitments regarding our region,” the statement read.

On June 28, political parties and forces operate in north and east Syria called on the US-led Global Coalition and Russia to impose a no-fly zone in the region in order to prevent Turkey from launching a new invasion that will harm lives of millions of residents.

Inner protests

In light of the Turkish shelling of contact lines, the Turkish-occupied city of Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), northeast Syria, witnessed ongoing protests by residents and settlers, condemning security chaos.

The residents of the areas called for staging protests against the Turkish-affiliated SNA factions.

On July 23, a protest was staged, demanding the SNA factions, which have been occupying the area since 2019, leave the area.

Reporting by Delsoz Youssef