Turkish forces shell Tel Rifaat in Syria’s Aleppo countryside

ALEPPO, Syria (North Press) – Turkish forces and their affiliated armed Syrian opposition factions, known as Syrian National Army (SNA), targeted on Thursday the town of Tel Rifaat in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

A military source told North Press that Turkish artillery targeted the vicinity of Tel Rifaat and the village of Kol Seroj in the countryside of the town with three shells. 

The shells fell on agricultural lands without causing material damages, according to the source.

After the entry of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front) into Afrin, the area in the northern countryside of Aleppo is witnessing security developments and displacement due to clashes with the SNA factions.

On Thursday, HTS, with the support of some Turkish-backed SNA factions, had full control over al-Mahmoudiya neighborhood in the city of Afrin following clashes with SNA factions.

On Wednesday, HTS seized the two districts of Jindires and Mabatli in addition to the two villages of Kurzeleh and Basouta in Afrin countryside following fierce clashes with armed factions of the Turkish-backed SNA.

Afrin, a Kurdish city in the north of Aleppo, has been under the occupation of Turkey since March 2018 following a military operation “Olive Branch” which resulted in the displacement of about 300.000 people of the original inhabitants of the city and its countryside.

The town of Tel Rifaat, 35 km north of Aleppo city, has been a shelter for Afrin displaced people since 2018 following the Turkish invasion of Afrin and its countryside which resulted in the displacement of about 300.000 of the original inhabitants.

For the last two weeks, Tel Rifaat and other villages and towns of Aleppo northern countryside, also known as Shahba region, have been witnessing Turkish bombing and shelling on almost a daily basis.

Reporting by Rahaf Youssef