Four members of a family have been killed in northern Syria in an attack carried out by Turkish forces.
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that Turkish warplanes fired several rockets at residential buildings in al-Safawyia village on the outskirts of the city of Ain Issa in the northern countryside of Raqqah province on Wednesday. A man and three children were killed.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blamed the Turkish forces and allied militants, saying the rockets were fired on a village controlled by Kurdish fighters near the border with Turkey.
According to SANA, Turkish forces have intensified attacks on residential buildings in areas in the northern countryside of Raqqah over the past days. They have been using heavy artillery, warplanes and drones. Casualties have also been reported.
Turkey views the US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.
The country has been present in northern Syria militarily for the past years, despite strong protest from Damascus. Its declared aim has been to push Kurdish militants – and Daesh terrorists – away from Turkish borders.
On October 9, 2019, Turkish forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in an operation with the same objective.
Two weeks after the invasion began, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted the YPG had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.
The patrols have come under repeated attacks by the militants ever since.