Turkish-backed forces continue bombing SDF positions in northern Syria
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish-backed armed groups on Saturday continued bombing positions held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the town of Ain al-Issa in northern Syria.
“Shelling by Turkish-backed forces has struck Ain Issa, neighboring villages and the abandoned Ain Issa IDP camp,” the Rojava Information Centre (RIC) said in a tweet on Saturday.
“Located on the new front-lines after Turkey’s 2019 invasion of North and East Syria, Ain Issa has been a frequent target in the weeks leading up to the US election.”
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reported that there were renewed rocket attacks by Turkish-backed forces near Ain al-Issa.
“The Turkish rocket attacks caused material damage, but no casualties have been reported,” SOHR said in a tweet.
The recent increase in Turkish attacks comes just over a year after Ankara launched an offensive in northern Syria on October 9, 2019, leading to the deaths of dozens of civilians and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of others.
A ceasefire deal was first reached between the US and Turkey on October 17 of that year and then another between Russia and Turkey days later on October 22 that stopped Turkish expansion attempts.
Despite this, Turkey continues drone strikes and shelling on the SDF positions, the US-led Coalition’s leading partner in Syria in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.
Thomas McClure, a Syria-based researcher at the Rojava Information Center, told Kurdistan 24 that “intermittent Turkish shelling has been a constant since the frontlines settled down following Turkey's 2019 invasion of North and East Syria, greenlit by then-President Donald Trump.”
“The weeks leading up to the US election saw a marked escalation in violations by Turkey and their proxies, increasing pressure on NES (Northeast Syria) in the build-up to a period which threatens to be a turbulent one in the region,” he said.
“The next two months may well see a further Turkish advance, taking advantage of Donald Trump’s “lame-duck” period as president and political unrest in the US to wring some final benefits from his presidency. A deterioration in the situation in Idlib could well see Russia, too, green light a further Turkish invasion against regions like Ain Issa now in the Russian sphere of influence.”
The UK-based SOHR also reported on Saturday that Turkish-backed factions are digging double-track trenches in the area from the frontlines of Tal Tamr district to Aliyah in Al-Hasakah countryside.
Moreover, on November 04 SOHR said, Turkish-backed forces shelled SDF forces in Qaza’ali and Saleebi villages in the western countryside of Tal Abyad in northern Al-Raqqah.
In a separate attack on November 01, Turkish artillery shelled SDF positions in the surrounding areas of Ain al-Issa area near M4 highway, and the western countryside of Tal Abyad in rural Al-Raqqah.