Turkish forces continue escalation in NE Syria causing casualties, displacement
TEL TAMR, Syria (North Press) – During the third week of August, Turkish forces continued to bombard villages in the northern countryside of Hasakah and Raqqa Governorates in north and northeast Syria, causing displacement and casualties among residents.
The Turkish forces and their affiliated armed opposition factions, also known as Syrian National Army (SNA), targeted dozens of villages with artillery shells and drones, violating the ceasefire agreements signed with Russia and the US at the end of 2019.
Following the Turkish incursion of Tel Abyad and Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) 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 Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) 32 km away from the Turkish border. The SDF did withdrew from the border areas according to the agreement, but Turkey continues targeting the area.
The Turkish forces are stationed on the northern outskirts of the towns of Tel Tamr and Abu Rasin (Zirgan) north of Hasakah, reaching the town of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa.
On August 12, the Turkish forces shelled with artillery shells the villages of al-Dardara and Sheikh Ali, north of Tel Tamr, killing two fighters of the Syriac Military Council – affiliated with the SDF – and injuring two soldiers of the Syrian government forces, one of whom was a lieutenant.
A day later, the Turkish forces struck four villages north and west of Tel Tamr, which are al-Gozaliya, Tel al-Laban, Sheikh Ali and al-Dardara, resulting in material damage to the residents’ properties.
On August 14, the Turkish forces targeted the village of Sheikh Ali with artillery shells. No human loss or material damage was recorded.
On August 16, the Turkish forces renewed their shelling of Tel Tamr countryside, hitting the villages of al-Gozaliya, Tel al-Laban, Umm al-Khair, Tel Tawil, al-Salamsa and Quboor al-Qarajneh, causing the displacement of the residents towards the safe villages.
Meanwhile on the same day, the 11-year-old boy Tamim Hamad was wounded during a Turkish shelling on the center of Abu Rasin town. In addition, Several shells landed in the village of al-Asadiya in the town’s countryside.
Also on August 16, the Turkish artillery hit five villages in the western countryside of Tel Abyad in the north of Raqqa, which are Arida, Laqluqo, Swan, Khirbet Baqar, and Kuberlak with tens of shells.
The city of Tel Abyad and its countryside have been under the occupation of the Turkish forces since 2019 following “Peace Spring” operation.
On August 17, a Turkish drone targeted the village of al-Ghaibesh, 1 km west of Tel Tamr town, wounding a person as a result.
In light of the ongoing Turkish attacks on areas of north and northeast Syria, reports by human rights organizations track the repeated violations in the Turkish-held areas in northern Syria.
Synergy Association, a non-governmental and non-profit organization working on documenting all violations in northeastern Syria, stated that during July more than 79 people were detained in the Turkish-held areas of Afrin, Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad.
The association stated that in Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad 16 people were arrested in July, eight of whom were released, and the fate of the rest is still unknown.
Since the beginning of 2019 until July of this year, no less than 478 people were arrested, including 64 women and 36 children, in addition to 293 cases of torturing detainees in the prisons of the SNA factions, according to the organization.